Tic Emergencies

  • Vanessa K. HinsonEmail author
  • Christopher G. GoetzEmail author
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


Tics are sudden involuntary stereotypic movements or sounds that emerge out of a normal background. The majority of patients with tic disorders either do not require pharmacological intervention or have a benign course of the tic disorder with appropriate treatment. In rare instances, tics are severe enough to cause a neurologic emergency. First, intense exacerbations may occur in the normal context of the waxing and waning course of tic disorders, sometimes exacerbated by medication or stress. Second, tics can cause secondary neurological impairment that may result in new disability, such as a case described here of sciatic nerve damage due to marked leg tics. Third, sudden and unusual tics can emerge in the context of acute neurological disorders other than Tourette Syndrome, and finally, the pharmacological treatment of tics can cause sudden adverse events in the form of tardive dyskinesia or akathisia. In this chapter, each of these tic emergencies is discussed, and the diagnosis and treatment are reviewed.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Tourette Syndrome Botulinum Toxin Injection Compressive Neuropathy Choreic Movement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosciencesMedical University of South CaroloinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurological Sciences, Department of PharmacologyRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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