Neuropsychiatric effects of guanfacine in children with mild tourette syndrome: a pilot study

Clin Neuropharmacol. 2002 Nov-Dec;25(6):325-32. doi: 10.1097/00002826-200211000-00009.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the neuropsychiatric effects of the alpha-2a adrenergic agonist guanfacine in children with Tourette syndrome (TS). Twenty-four children with TS participated in a 4-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of guanfacine. Tic severity, neuropsychologic functioning, and parent ratings of behavior were evaluated pre- and post-treatment. The sample had mild tic severity and subtle neuropsychologic dysfunction pretreatment. Post-treatment, patients receiving guanfacine were rated by parents as significantly improved (compared to placebo) on one measure of executive function (parent-rated metacognition). Improvement on tic severity, performance-based neuropsychologic measures, and all other parent ratings were not significantly better than placebo. At a moderate dose and short-term treatment duration, guanfacine did not provide significant neuropsychiatric benefits in this group of children with mild TS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Attention
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Guanfacine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pilot Projects
  • Problem Solving
  • Tics / complications
  • Tics / drug therapy
  • Tourette Syndrome / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Tourette Syndrome / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Guanfacine