Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics that typically begin in childhood and often are accompanied by psychiatric comorbidities. Symptoms of TS may be socially disabling and cause secondary medical complications. Pharmacological therapies remain the mainstay of symptom management. For the subset of patients in whom TS symptoms are medically recalcitrant and do not dissipate by adulthood, neurosurgery may offer an alternative treatment strategy. Greater understanding of the neuroanatomic and pathophysiologic basis of TS has facilitated the development of surgical procedures that aim to ameliorate TS symptoms by lesions or deep brain stimulation of cerebral structures. Herein, the rationale for the surgical management of TS is discussed and neurosurgical experiences since the 1960s are reviewed. The necessity for neurosurgical strategies to be performed with appropriate ethical considerations is highlighted.
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