Sunday, January 14, 2024

Co-morbid tics and stereotypies

Cavanna AE, Purpura G, Riva A, Nacinovich R. Co-morbid tics and stereotypies: a systematic literature review. Neurol Sci. 2023 Sep 29. doi: 10.1007/s10072-023-07095-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37775


Background: Tics and stereotypies are childhood-onset repetitive behaviours that can pose significant diagnostic challenges in clinical practice. Both tics and stereotypies are characterised by a complex co-morbidity profile, however little is known about the co-occurrence of these hyperkinetic disorders in the same patient population.

Objective: This review aimed to assess the relationship between tics and stereotypies when these conditions present in co-morbidity.

Methods: We conducted a systematic literature review of original studies on co-morbid tics and stereotypies, according to the standards outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

Results: Our literature search identified six studies of suitable sample size (n ≥ 40) presenting data on the association between tics and stereotypies in otherwise typically developing patients. A considerable proportion (23%) of patients diagnosed with stereotypic movement disorder present with co-morbid tics (range 18-43%). Likewise, the prevalence of primary stereotypies is increased in patients with tic disorders such as Tourette syndrome (8%, range 6-12%).

Discussion: Tics and stereotypies can often develop in co-morbidity. The association of tics and stereotypies in the same patient has practical implications, in consideration of the different treatment approaches. Future research should focus on the assessment and management of both conditions, particularly in special populations (e.g. patients with pervasive developmental disorders).

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