Phenotype Development in Adolescents With Tourette Syndrome: A Large Clinical Longitudinal Study

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Abstract

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by frequent comorbidities and a wide spectrum of phenotype presentations. This study aimed to describe the development of phenotypes in TS and tic-related impairment in a large longitudinal study of 226 children and adolescents followed up after 6 years. The participants were clinically examined to assess tic severity and impairment, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The development in phenotypes changed toward less comorbidity with 40% TS-only (no OCD or ADHD) (TS without OCD or ADHD) at baseline and 55% at follow-up.Tic-related impairment was expected to improve with an age-related tic decline, but surprisingly the impairment score did not reflect the tic decline. Sex, vocal and motor tics, and OCD and ADHD severity were highly significantly correlated to the impairment score. Knowledge of TS phenotype development is used in clinical settings to guide patients and for genetic, etiological, and clinical research purposes.

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