Neuropsychological aspects of Tourette syndrome: a review

J Psychosom Res. 2009 Dec;67(6):503-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2009.08.001.


Tourette syndrome (TS) is assumed to result from frontostriatal dysfunction, which would be expected to result in impairments in neuropsychological functions. This possibility has been explored in a number of studies that have assessed the performance of patients with TS within major cognitive domains and on tests involving executive functioning. We aim to summarize the main findings of these studies while evaluating the influence of task limitations and potentially critical confounding factors such as the presence of comorbidity. Although there is clearly a need for improved study design, we tentatively suggest that there is considerable evidence for cognitive impairment in a subgroup of patients, and that some difficulties seem to be intrinsic to TS. These impairments may reflect dysfunction of the anterior cingulate network within the frontostriatal pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Tourette Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Tourette Syndrome / psychology