Tourette syndrome: clinical features, pathophysiology, and treatment

Congratulations to Kara A Johnson PhD, Kelly D Foote MD, Christopher R Butson PhD, Aysegul Gunduz PhD, and Michael S Okun MD on the publication of “Tourette syndrome: clinical features, pathophysiology, and treatment.”  This paper was published in the October 28th issue of The Lancet Neurology.


Tourette syndrome is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by motor and phonic tics that can substantially diminish the quality of life of affected individuals. Evaluating and treating Tourette syndrome is complex, in part due to the heterogeneity of symptoms and co-morbidities between individuals. The underlying pathophysiology of Tourette syndrome is not fully understood, but recent research in the past 5 years has brought new insights into the genetic variations and the alterations in neurophysiology and brain networks contributing to its pathogenesis. Treatment options for Tourette syndrome are expanding with novel pharmacological therapies and increased use of deep brain stimulation for patients with symptoms that are refractory to pharmacological or behavioural treatments. Potential predictors of patient responses to therapies for Tourette syndrome, such as specific networks modulated during deep brain stimulation, can guide clinical decisions. Multicentre data sharing initiatives have enabled several advances in our understanding of the genetics and pathophysiology of Tourette syndrome and will be crucial for future large-scale research and in refining effective treatments.