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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 27, Issue 1, Pages 7-14

Co-Morbid Disorders in Tourette Syndrome

Nanette M. M. Mol Debes

Paediatric Department, Herlev University Hospital, Herlev Ringvej 75, 2730 Herlev, Denmark

Received 23 November 2012; Accepted 23 November 2012

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tourette syndrome (TS) is often accompanied by other symptoms and syndromes. The two best-known co-morbidities are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but also other conditions like rage-attacks, depression, and sleeping disturbances are frequent in persons with TS. Both in clinical cohorts and in population-based cohorts the prevalence of co-morbidities is high. The presence of co-morbid ADHD and/or OCD has an impact on psychosocial, educational, and neuropsychological consequences of TS and it is associated with higher rates of other co-morbid disorders, like rage, anxiety, and conduct disorders. The symptoms of a co-morbid disorder might appear prior to the time that tics reach clinical attention. The TS phenotype probably changes during the course of the disease. The exact aetiology of the co-occurrence of co-morbid disorders and TS is not known, but they probably all are neurotransmitter disorders. European guidelines recommend first-choice pharmacological treatment, but randomised double-blinded trials are needed. Professionals need to be aware of the close relationship between TS and co-morbidities in order to give the patients the right treatment and support.