Tic disorders and Tourette’s syndrome


Diagnostic categories of tic disorders include both transient and chronic tic disorders and Tourette’s disorder. Changes for this group of disorders proposed for the forthcoming DSM-5 system include: (1) The term “stereotyped” will be eliminated in the definition of tics and the new definition will be applied consistently across all entities of tic disorders; (2) the diagnosis “Transient Tic Disorder” will change its name to “Provisional Tic Disorder”; (3) introduction of two new categories in individuals whose tics are triggered by illicit drugs or by a medical condition; (4) specification of chronic tic disorders into those with motor tics or with vocal tics only; (5) specification of the absence of a period longer than 3 months without tics will disappear for Tourette’s Disorder. This overview discusses a number of implications resulting from these diagnostic modifications of the diagnostic classifications for use in the clinics. European guidelines for “Tourette’s syndrome and other Tic disorders” were published in 2011 in the ECAP by the “European Society for the Study of Tourette Syndrome”. The guidelines emphasize the complexity of these neuropsychiatric disorders that require interdisciplinary cooperation between medical professionals, but also patients, parents and teachers for planning of treatment. The main conclusion derived from the guideline for pharmacological treatment is the urgent need for rigorous studies that address the effectiveness of anti-tic medications. The guidelines also emphasize the importance of facilitating the dissemination of several behavioral treatment approaches, such as “Exposure Response Prevention”, yet the most well documented being “Habit Reversal Training”.

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This work was supported by the Capital Region Psychiatry, Denmarkand the Research Council of Norway (grant nr. 544/H10).

Conflict of interest

The corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interest. This article is part of the supplement “The Future of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology: The Impact of DSM 5 and of Guidelines for Assessment and Treatment”. This supplement was not sponsored by outside commercial interests.

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Correspondence to Kerstin J. Plessen.

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Plessen, K.J. Tic disorders and Tourette’s syndrome. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 22, 55–60 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-012-0362-x

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  • Tics
  • Tourette
  • Guidelines
  • Diagnostic system