The clinical phenomenology and correlations of oculogyric tics

Acta Neurol Belg. 2022 Aug;122(4):925-930. doi: 10.1007/s13760-022-01944-x. Epub 2022 Apr 10.


Background: Oculogyric tics are identified in a substantial proportion of patients with Tourette syndrome (TS) and related tic-disorders. Nevertheless, studies assessing its frequency and clinical correlations are lacking.

Materials and methods: We reviewed video-recordings and clinical history of 201 patients with TS and chronic motor/phonic tic disorder, diagnosed according to DSM-5.

Results: Oculogyric tics presented in 22.4% of our patients. Transient upward gaze was the most common phenomenology in patients with simple oculogyric tics; whereas eye-closure followed by upward and lateral deviations was the most commonly observed phenomenon in patients with combined oculogyric tics. Oculogyric tics have a median duration of 799 ms (range 299-34,500 ms). Patients with oculogyric tics were younger (P = 0.023) and had a higher frequency of cranial tics (P = 0.037) compared to those without oculogyric tics. No differences in tic severity, frequency of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or use of dopamine receptor antagonists were observed in patients with and without oculogyric tics.

Conclusions: Oculogyric tics are a common phenomenology in chronic tic disorders. They are more common in younger patients with TS and are markers of other cranial tics, but not of TS severity or comorbid neuropsychiatric syndromes.

Keywords: Dystonic tics; Eye tics; Eye-rolling tics; Oculogyric tics; Tics, Tourette syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity*
  • Humans
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder*
  • Tic Disorders* / complications
  • Tics*
  • Tourette Syndrome* / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Tourette Syndrome* / psychology