Feature Article Paediatrics
Managing tic disorders: an update on Tourette syndrome
Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterised by multiple motor and vocal tics. Often seen in school-aged children, the syndrome can mimic many hyperkinetic disorders, making diagnosis challenging. Prompt and early diagnosis followed by appropriate treatment can improve the quality of life of affected individuals.
- Tourette syndrome is a relatively common disorder affecting up to 1% of the population, but the diagnosis can often be missed.
- Characteristic features of Tourette syndrome include both multiple motor tics and one or more vocal tics that have been present for more than a year.
- Tics can be successfully treated with dopamine antagonists, alpha-adrenergic agonists or atypical antipsychotic agents.
- Common comorbid conditions include obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which may necessitate treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and stimulants (with caution), respectively.
- Although counselling, supportive psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy for Tourette syndrome and associated symptoms may be beneficial, formal psychotherapy is not recommended for patients with tic disorders.