Journal of Neurology

, Volume 244, Issue 6, pp 378–382 | Cite as

Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome in special education schools: a United Kingdom study

  • V. Eapen
  • Mary M. Robertson
  • Harold Zeitlin
  • Roger Kurlan
Original communication

Abstract

In order to determine the prevalence of tic disorders in children with severe school problems requiring a residential facility and comparison groups of children in regular day schools, we performed direct clinical examinations for the presence of tics and Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome (GTS) in 20 children from a residential school for emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD); 25 children from a residential school for learning disabilities; 17 “problem” children (PC) (identified by teachers as having academic or behaviour problems) and 19 normal children (NC) selected at random (using random numbers) from a regular school. Of the EBD students, 65% were judged to have definite tics as compared with 24% of students with learning difficulties (P < 0.05), 6% of PC (P < 0.003) and none of the NC (P < 0.0006) group. Most of the affected students met diagnostic criteria for GTS. Our findings suggest that GTS is commonly associated with the need for special education and that this association is particularly robust for children with severe school problems. In these children, the presence of tics may be an indicator of an underlying dysfunction of neurological development.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Eapen
    • 1
  • Mary M. Robertson
    • 1
  • Harold Zeitlin
    • 1
  • Roger Kurlan
    • 2
  1. 1.University College London Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Middlesex Hospital, Mortimer Street, London W1N 8AA, UKGB
  2. 2.University of Rochester School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Box 673, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642-8673, USAUS

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