Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Evidence supporting a genetic relationship

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986 Dec;43(12):1180-2. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800120066013.


Previous studies have suggested that obsessive-compulsive symptoms frequently occur among patients with Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (TS). To examine the relationship between TS and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), data from all first-degree relatives of TS probands were obtained with a semistructured interview designed to collect information on the presence of TS, other tic disorders, and neuropsychiatric illnesses during the lifetime of the individual. The rate of OCD among first-degree relatives was significantly increased over estimates from the general population and a control sample of adoptive relatives. The rates of TS, OCD, and chronic multiple tics (CMT) were virtually the same in families of probands with OCD (TS +/- OCD) when compared with families of probands without OCD (TS - OCD). Finally, the frequency of OCD without TS or CMT among first-degree relatives was significantly elevated in families of both TS + OCD and TS - OCD probands, suggesting that some forms of OCD may represent an alternative expression of the factors responsible for TS and/or CMT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adoption
  • Adult
  • Connecticut
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / complications
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / genetics*
  • Risk
  • Tic Disorders / complications
  • Tic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Tic Disorders / genetics
  • Tourette Syndrome / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Tourette Syndrome / genetics*