Oromandibular tics associated with Tourette syndrome

J Neurol. 2023 May;270(5):2591-2596. doi: 10.1007/s00415-023-11583-8. Epub 2023 Feb 1.


Background: Tourette syndrome (TS) is the most common cause of chronic tics. Patients with TS frequently manifest motor tics involving the eyes and face but oromandibular (OM) tics have been rarely studied.

Materials and methods: We reviewed the medical records and video-recordings of 155 consecutive patients with TS in our movement disorders clinic. In addition, we studied 35 patients with classic tardive dyskinesia (TD) and compared their clinical and demographic features with those with TS.

Results: We identified 41 patients with OM tics (26.5%). Although patients with OM tics had a greater overall tic severity and higher frequency of.complex motor and phonic tics, in the bivariate analysis, only comorbid dystonic tics (P = 0.001), greater number of affected body parts (P = 0.012) and more frequent eye-rolling tics (P = 0.059) were included in the final regression model after controlling for other variables. When compared with patients with OM tics, patients with classic TD had more frequently masticatory movements (sensitivity, 0.86; specificity, 0.95), continuous tongue movements (sensitivity, 0.71; specificity, 1.0) and continuous OM movements (sensitivity, 0.4; specificity, 1.0).

Conclusions: OM tics are common and often troublesome or even disabling symptoms in patients with TS. They may be difficult to differentiate from TD, but the latter is typically manifested by continuous orolingual and masticatory movements.

Keywords: Cranial tics; Dystonic tics; Oromandibular tics; Tardive dyskinesia; Tics; Tourette syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Tardive Dyskinesia*
  • Tic Disorders* / complications
  • Tic Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Tic Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Tics* / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome* / complications
  • Tourette Syndrome* / diagnosis