Tic disorders: from pathophysiology to treatment
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- Rampello, L., Alvano, A., Battaglia, G. et al. J Neurol (2006) 253: 1. doi:10.1007/s00415-005-0008-8
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Tic disorders are stereotypic behaviours,more frequent than once believed, and therefore likely to be encountered by primary care physicians. Tics usually begin in childhood and are the clinical hallmark of Tourette Syndrome (TS), the most common cause of tics. TS is a relatively common neurobehavioural disorder with a spectrum of manifestations that wax and wane during its natural course. The pathophysiology of tics, at molecular and cellular level, is still unknown,whereas structural and functional neuroimaging studies have shown the involvement of the basal ganglia and related cortico–striato–thalamo–cortical circuits, and the dopaminergic neuronal system. Moreover, TS has a strong genetic background. The management of TS is often complicated by the presence of attention–deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessivecompulsive disorder, and other behaviour disorders. The correct diagnosis is a fundamental step for a proper management of these disorders, and a multimodal treatment is usually indicated. This approach includes educational and supportive interventions, as well as pharmacological treatments when tics are at their worst.