Regional metabolic rates for glucose estimated using [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography were compared in 16 drug-free patients with Tourette's syndrome (TS) and 16 age- and sex-matched normal volunteers. Tourette's syndrome patients were characterized by decreased normalized metabolic rates in paralimbic and ventral prefrontal cortices, particularly in orbitofrontal, inferior insular, and parahippocampal regions. Similar decreases were observed in subcortical regions, including the ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens/ventromedial caudate) and in the midbrain. These changes were more robust and occurred with greater frequency in the left hemisphere. They were associated with concomitant bilateral increases in metabolic activity the supplementary motor, lateral premotor, and Rolandic cortices. Effects of prior exposure to neuroactive drugs did not account for these findings. These results suggest that an altered relationship between limbic-related regions of the cortex and striatum and cortical regions involved in the initiation of movement may play a role in the pathogenesis of this illness.