The genetics of Tourette disorder

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2011 Jun;21(3):302-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2011.01.007. Epub 2011 Jan 27.


Tourette disorder (TD) is a childhood onset neuropsychiatric syndrome defined by persistent motor and vocal tics. Despite a long-standing consensus for a strong genetic contribution, the pace of discovery compared to other disorders of similar prevalence has been slow, due in part to a paucity of studies and both clinical heterogeneity and a complex genetic architecture. However, the potential for rapid progress is high. Recent rare variant findings have pointed to the importance of copy number variation, the overlap of risks among distinct diagnostic entities, the contribution of novel molecular mechanisms, and the value of family based studies. Finally, analysis of a cohort of sufficient size to identify common polymorphisms of plausible effect is underway, promising key information regarding the contribution of common alleles to TD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • DNA Copy Number Variations / genetics
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Humans
  • Tics / genetics*
  • Tics / physiopathology
  • Tourette Syndrome / genetics*
  • Tourette Syndrome / pathology