Thinning of sensorimotor cortices in children with Tourette syndrome

Nat Neurosci. 2008 Jun;11(6):637-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.2121. Epub 2008 May 18.


The basal ganglia portions of cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuits have consistently been implicated in the pathogenesis of Tourette syndrome, whereas motor and sensorimotor cortices in these circuits have been relatively overlooked. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we detected cortical thinning in frontal and parietal lobes in groups of Tourette syndrome children relative to controls. This thinning was most prominent in ventral portions of the sensory and motor homunculi that control the facial, orolingual and laryngeal musculature that is commonly involved in tic symptoms. Correlations of cortical thickness in sensorimotor regions with tic symptoms suggest that these brain regions are important in the pathogenesis of Tourette syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / pathology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / pathology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / pathology
  • Random Allocation
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Somatosensory Cortex / pathology*
  • Tourette Syndrome / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome / pathology*