Sensorimotor gating in boys with Tourette's syndrome and ADHD: preliminary results

Biol Psychiatry. 1996 Jan 1;39(1):33-41. doi: 10.1016/0006-3223(95)00101-8.


Deficits in sensorimotor gating, defined by prepulse inhibition (PPI), have been associated with subcortical dopaminergic overactivity in animal and clinical studies. Utilizing supraorbital nerve electrical stimulation, we produced adequate blink responses and measured decreases in amplitude resulting from electric prestimuli just above sensory threshold. Seven boys comorbid for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a tic disorder had significantly reduced PPI, compared to 14 screened controls and seven boys with ADHD alone. If independently replicated, these results may reflect greater neurologic immaturity in these comorbid subjects. Alternatively, these findings, together with other converging lines of evidence, suggest that deficient pallidal inhibition may be etiologically related to tic and movement disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Blinking / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • Globus Pallidus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reflex, Startle / physiology
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Tourette Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Tourette Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Tourette Syndrome / psychology


  • Dopamine