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Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

Gilbert Gravino, BSc Hons

Medical Imaging Department, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida MSD2080, Malta

BACKGROUND: Tourette’s syndrome is a developmental neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by multiple motor, stereotypical but non-rhythmic movements and vocalizations/phonics called tics. It is one of several disorders that have tics as their cardinal feature. These tics manifest themselves in various ways, ranging from simple eye blinking to coprolalia (involuntary swearing).

METHOD: We conducted a thorough search for the literature using Medline and ScienceDirect. A literature review was then carried out to identify relevant information and improve the profession's understanding of the syndrome, including its pathophysiology.

RESULTS: This disorder is much more common than once believed, and may interfere with patients’ social relationships and occupational functions. The development of new treatments is important to achieve more effective management with fewer side effects. Animal models of Tourette’s syndrome would help foster understanding the pathophysiology and pharmacological treatment of tic symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Although significant advances have been made, research in the field is crucial to clarify further the physiological aspects of the syndrome.

KEYWORDS: Tourette’s syndrome, pathophysiology, neurology


CORRESPONDENCE: Gilbert Gravino, BSc Hons Medical Imaging Department Mater Dei Hospital Msida MSD2080 Malta E-MAIL:
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2013 Quadrant HealthCom Inc.

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