Tourette’s disorder in children and adolescents

Donald E. Greydanus, Julia Tullio


Tourette’s disorder (TD) is one of the five American Psychiatric Association’s 2013 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) classifications of tic disorders. Eponymously linked with the noted 19th century French physician, Gilles de la Tourette [1857–1904], this disorder is identified in 0.3% to 0.7% of the population. It is characterized as a familial neuropsychiatric condition with multiple motor tics and vocal tics (one or more) present for more than 1 year with varying severity. The underlying pathophysiology involves dysfunctional activity of the basal ganglia and circuitry of the frontal cortex as well as dorsolateral striatum deficits. Contributory factors include genetic features interacting with milieu influences. A number of comorbid disorders are seen including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Concepts of management are considered including behavioral therapy and pharmacologic approaches with alpha-adrenoceptor agonists, atypical antipsychotics (AAs), haloperidol, pimozide and others. Other management includes botulinum injections and deep brain stimulation in adults.