The clinical features of psychogenic movement disorders resembling tics

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2014 May;85(5):573-5. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2013-305594. Epub 2013 Nov 20.


Background: Psychogenic movement disorders (PMDs) may be difficult to differentiate from organic abnormal movements.

Methods: We aimed to characterise the prevalence and clinical features of PMDs resembling tics during the last 3.5 years in our centre.

Results: We studied 9 patients (five females) with psychogenic tics representing 4.9% of all 184 patients first evaluated for a PMD during the study period. The mean age at onset was 34.1 years. Lack of premonitory sensations, absence childhood and family history of tics, inability to suppress the movements and coexistence with other PMDs and pseudoseizures were common in our patients. Compared with 273 patients with Tourette syndrome, those with PMDs resembling tics were older: 36.3 versus 18.7 years (p=0.014) at presentation and more frequently female (p=0.030).

Conclusions: Movements resembling tics are observed in a small proportion of patients with PMDs. Clinical features can help to differentiate them from organic tics.


Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Somatoform Disorders / complications
  • Somatoform Disorders / physiopathology
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*
  • Tic Disorders / complications
  • Tic Disorders / physiopathology
  • Tic Disorders / psychology*
  • Young Adult