Post-traumatic tics and tetrabenazine treatment: a blinded video assessment

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Abstract

Traumatic head injury is a very rare cause of secondary tic disorders. We add another case by describing, for the first time, the response to tetrabenazine in a blinded video assessment. Our patient had a severe traumatic head injury and subsequently developed tics refractory to various agents including neuroleptics. We assessed tetrabenazine treatment by virtue of patient's impression, the treating neurologist's non-blinded (Yale Global Tic Severity Scale) and a second neurologist's blinded assessment (modified Rush Video Scale). The Yale Global Tic Severity Score improved by 24% on 12.5 mg twice daily and 45% on 12.5 mg thrice daily. Subjective improvement was 50% and 70%, respectively. The modified Rush Video scores improved by 21% and 28.5%, respectively. Post-traumatic tourettism can respond to tetrabenazine. The magnitude of benefit though, may be overestimated with open-label observations, thus there is a need for studies examining objectively the effect of tetrabenazine in tic disorders.

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