Objective: The impact of tic disorders on the outcome of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains a subject of high scientific and clinical interest. To evaluate the impact of comorbid ADHD and tic disorders from a lifespan perspective, the authors systematically examined data from adults with and without ADHD.
Method: They comprehensively evaluated 312 consecutively referred adults with ADHD and 252 comparison subjects without ADHD. Tic disorders were characterized along with a wide range of neuropsychiatric correlates, including other comorbid disorders as well as indexes of function in the domains of school, cognition, and interpersonal functioning.
Results: A significantly greater proportion of adults with ADHD (12%) than those without ADHD (4%) had tic disorders. Tic disorders followed a mostly remitting course and had little impact on functional capacities. In addition, tic disorders were not associated with stimulant use.
Conclusions: These findings in adults with ADHD confirm and extend previous findings in young subjects with ADHD, documenting that although individuals with ADHD are at greater risk for tic disorders, the presence of tic disorders has a limited impact on ADHD outcome.