Tourette syndrome, associated conditions and the complexities of treatment

Brain. 2000 Mar;123 Pt 3:425-62. doi: 10.1093/brain/123.3.425.


Tourette syndrome (TS) is characterized by multiple motor tics plus one or more vocal (phonic) tics, which characteristically wax and wane. It can no longer be considered the rare and bizarre syndrome that it was once thought to be. The concepts surrounding TS, and our understanding of it, are also becoming increasingly complex and, in some individuals, TS is now recognized to be associated with a wide variety of associated behaviours and psychopathologies. It is suggested that TS is heterogeneous from a variety of standpoints including clinical presentation and psychopathology, and thus neuropharmacological responses and possibly even aetiological and genetic mechanisms. In this paper, mention is made of recent findings in epidemiology and genetics, highlighting the complexities of the disorder; these have been chosen because findings in both areas have clinical and management implications. The literature on the clinical manifestations, associated behaviours, psychopathology (and/or comorbid conditions) and management, in particular, is reviewed in detail.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dopamine Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Tourette Syndrome* / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Tourette Syndrome* / drug therapy


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Dopamine Antagonists