BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An assessment of patients with adult Tourette syndrome (TS) to identify clinical factors that contribute to psychosocial and occupational disabilities resulting from the vocal or motor tics that define TS found that anxiety/panic disorder may be the most disabling psychiatric condition associated with the disorder. The results of the study, based on the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale, will be used to identify patients who are more likely to have or develop significant disabilities related either to the severity of their tics, or to the psychiatric disorders associated with TS, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, mood disorders and drug or alcohol abuse.
Results were presented today (June 17) at the 14th International Congress on Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 14-17.
David G. Lichter, MD, professor of clinical neurology in the University at Buffalo's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is first author.
"Our study identified the most significant predictors of disability, says Lichter. "Now having identified these at-risk patients, we can follow them more closely and begin appropriate interventions as early as possible."
Lichter also noted that the finding of anxiety/panic disorder as the most-disabling psychiatric disorder associated with TS was unexpected.
"The main surprise was that depression was not a major predictor of psychosocial or occupational disability in these patients," says Lichter. "Depression has been identified as an important predictor of quality of life in TS.
Tics, both motor and vocal, are the primary symptoms of Tourette syndrome. Vocal tics are involuntary sounds, such as whistles, hums, or throat clearing. Complex vocal tics can be repeating words or phrases or involuntary swearing. Motor tics are muscle spasms, such as involuntary eye blinks, shoulder shrugs, repetitive kicking, head jerks, eye darts and n
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