Chronic motor and vocal tics lasting longer than a year are classified as Tourette's syndrome (TS). Tics mostly manifest before the age of 11 years. Boys are affected at a threefold higher rate than girls. Tics are often worst at the age of 14; in 50% of the cases the tic symptoms will remit nearly completely. Severely affected patients often suffer from comorbidities. In childhood and adolescence the most common comorbid condition is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Obsessive-compulsive behaviour, anxiety and affective disorder might occur in the course of TS. A dysregulation in the dopaminergic neurotransmission in the cortico-striatal-thalamic-cortical circuits (CSTC) might be the underlying neurobiological basis. The psychotropic substances administered for TS treatment largely affect the dopaminergic system. The most commonly used atypical neuroleptics are not approved for TS treatment and are used "off label". Atomoxetine might also improve tics in comorbid ADHD. First results of some case series with the partial dopamine agonist aripiprazole are encouraging.
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