Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 15–31

Clinical Characteristics of Children and Adolescents with a Primary Tic Disorder

Authors

    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesJohns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Douglas W. Woods
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
  • John Piacentini
    • Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUCLA Neuropsychiartic Hospital
  • Lawrence Scahill
    • Yale School of Nursing and Child Study CenterYale University School of Nursing
  • Sabine Wilhelm
    • Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • Alan L. Peterson
    • Department of PsychiartyUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Susanna Chang
    • Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUCLA Neuropsychiartic Hospital
  • Hayden Kepley
    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesJohns Hopkins School of Medicine
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina-Wilmington
  • Thilo Deckersbach
    • Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • Christopher Flessner
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
    • Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryBrown Medical School
  • Brian A. Buzzella
    • Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUCLA Neuropsychiartic Hospital
    • Department of PsychologyBoston University
  • Joseph F. McGuire
    • Yale School of Nursing and Child Study CenterYale University School of Nursing
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of South Florida
  • Sue Levi-Pearl
    • Tourette Syndrome Association
  • John T. Walkup
    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesJohns Hopkins School of Medicine
    • Department of PsychiatryWeill Cornell Medical College
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10882-010-9223-z

Cite this article as:
Specht, M.W., Woods, D.W., Piacentini, J. et al. J Dev Phys Disabil (2011) 23: 15. doi:10.1007/s10882-010-9223-z

Abstract

The clinical characteristics and rates of co-occurring psychiatric conditions in youth seeking treatment for a chronic tic disorder (CTD) were examined. Children and adolescents (N = 126) with a primary CTD diagnosis were recruited for a randomized controlled treatment trial. An expert clinician established diagnostic status via semi-structured interview. Participants were male (78.6%), Caucasians (84.9%), mean age 11.7 years (SD = 2.3) with moderate-to-severe tics who met criteria for Tourette’s disorder (93.7%). Common co-occurring conditions included attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; 26%), social phobia (21%), generalized anxiety disorder (20%), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; 19%). Motor and vocal tics with greater intensity, complexity, and interference were associated with increased impairment. Youth with a CTD seeking treatment for tics should be evaluated for non-OCD anxiety disorders in addition to ADHD and OCD. Despite the presence of co-occurring conditions, children with more forceful, complex, and/or directly interfering tics may seek treatment to reduce tic severity.

Keywords

Tourette’s disorderTicsComorbidAnxietyImpairment

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011