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Treatment Strategies for Tics of Tourette Syndrome: Review Article

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  • Treatment Strategies for Tics of Tourette Syndrome: Review Article

    Treatment Strategies for Tics in Tourette Syndrome
    Clare M. Eddy, PhD; Hugh E. Rickards, MD; Andrea E. Cavanna, MD

    Posted: 03/02/2011

    Tourette syndrome (TS) is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by tics: repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations. These symptoms can have a significant impact on patients' daily functioning across many domains. Tics tend to be most severe in child and adolescent sufferers, so their presence has the potential to impact a period of life that is both critical for learning and is often associated with the experience of greater social tension and self-consciousness than adulthood. Furthermore, control over tics that lead to physical impairment or self-injurious behaviour is of vital importance in maintaining health and quality of life. There are numerous complicating factors in the prescription of treatment for tics, due to both the side effects associated with alleviating agents and patient characteristics, such as age and comorbid conditions. This review summarizes literature pertaining to the efficacy and safety of both traditionally prescribed and more modern medications. We also discuss the merits of behavioural and surgical techniques and highlight newer emerging treatments. Although treatment response is to some extent variable, there are a number of agents that are clearly useful as first-line treatments for TS. Other interventions may be of most benefit to patients exhibiting refractory tics or more specific symptom profiles.

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