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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 1999 April;51(4):101-8


language: Italian

Tic disorders in children and adolescents. Clinical and genetic features, comorbidity

Saccomani L., Vercellino F., Rizzo P., Rolando S., Ravera G.


Background. Aim of the study is to evaluate the clinical and genetic characteristics of tic disorders, in view of individuating similarities or differences relevant to the prognosis among different nosological groups.
Methods. A retrospective study of 79 children and adolescents (average age 9.3 yrs) was performed. The cases were diagnosed according to DSM-IV as: transitory tics (TT) 13 cases; chronic tics (CT) 50 cases; Tourette disease (TD) 16 cases. They were compared to a control group of 18 school age children without any neurological or psychiatric disturbance.
The study included: semi-structured interviews focused on natural history of the disturbances, familiarity, presence of perinatal pathology, comorbidity; neurological examination, EEG, psychodiagnostic tests and investigation.
Results. Mean age of onset and type of first symptoms are the same in the three groups. Compared to the control group there is a significant increase in: familiarity for tics disturbances in TD; presence of perinatal pathological factors in the three groups of patients; comorbidity for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in CT and TD, comorbidity with ADHD in CT group. Three clinical cases are reported to exemplify the mixed features in the families and the different responsivity to the pharmacological treatment.
Conclusions. In summary the results of this study are consistent with a unique spectrum of tic disorders, with great similarities, between CT and TD both from a genetic and a clinical point of view. A worse prognosis is related to familiarity for tics, and comorbidity with OCD and ADHD.

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