Sensory aspects of Tourette syndrome


Motor and vocal tics have long been recognised as the core features of Tourette syndrome (TS). However, patients’ first-person accounts have consistently reported that these involuntary motor manifestations have specific sensory correlates. These sensory symptoms are often described as feelings of mounting inner tension (“premonitory urges”) and are transiently relieved by tic expression. Multimodal hypersensitivity to external stimuli, perceived as triggers and/or exacerbating factors for specific tic symptoms, is also commonly reported by patients with TS. This article focuses on the rapidly expanding literature on the clinical and neurobiological aspects of the premonitory urge and multimodal hypersensitivity in patients with TS, with particular attention to pathophysiological mechanisms and possible treatment implications. These findings suggest that TS is a neurobehavioural condition characterised by intrinsic perceptual abnormalities involving the insula and sensorimotor areas, in addition to basal ganglia dysfunction. Further research will clarify the role of sensory symptoms in TS, as well as the effects of external sensory input on underlying motor abnormalities.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
Additional Information: © 2018, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tourette syndrome,tics,premonitory urges,insula,sensorimotor areas,multimodal hypersensitivity
Publication ISSN: 1873-7528
Full Text Link: http://linkingh ... 149763418300794
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PURE Output Type: Review article
Published Date: 2018-05-01
Published Online Date: 2018-03-17
Accepted Date: 2018-03-15
Authors: Cox, Joanna H
Seri, Stefano (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9247-8102)
Cavanna, Andrea E

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