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Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome and its impact in the UK
  1. J S Stern1,
  2. S Burza2,
  3. M M Robertson3
  1. 1Atkinson Morley’s Wing, St George’s Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2North London Rotation, Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College London, and St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Jeremy Stern
 Chairman, Tourette Syndrome (UK) Association, Atkinson Morley’s Wing, St George’s Hospital, Blackshaw Road, London SW17 0QT, UK;


Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome of chronic multiple motor and vocal tics is now acknowledged to be far more common than once thought, affecting up to 1% of schoolchildren with a wide range of severity. At the milder end of the spectrum the associated psychopathologies can in themselves impair social and educational functioning, in particular obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Many patients with this condition are not being adequately served by health and education services in the UK. The epidemiology, clinical features, aetiological factors, and management of the syndrome are reviewed.

  • ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • BAD, bipolar affective disorder
  • DSM-IV-TR, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revised
  • fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • GABHS, group A β-haemolytic streptococcal
  • NOSI, non-obscene socially inappropriate
  • OCB, obsessive compulsive behaviour
  • OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder
  • PANDAS, paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcus
  • PET, positron emission tomography
  • SPET, single photon emission tomography
  • Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome
  • psychopathology
  • genetics
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