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Behavioral and Emotional Problems in Adolescents with Tourette Syndrome

Author(s): Hsueh-Ling Chang | Hsin-Yi Liang | Hwei-Shioun Wang | Chian-Shan Li | Nai-Chi Ko | Yuan-Pei Hsu

Journal: Chang Gung Medical Journal
ISSN 2072-0939

Volume: 31;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 145;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: tourette syndrome | behavior | adolescent

Background: Patients with Tourette syndrome (TS) are at risk of an array of behavioraland emotional problems, resulting in social, academic and vocational functionimpairments. This study intended to examine the nature and severity ofbehavioral and emotional problems in Taiwanese TS adolescents.Methods: Forty TS adolescents with normal IQ and thirty age- and gender-matchednormal controls were evaluated using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale(YGTSS) and the Child Behavioral Checklist (CBCL) to understand theseverity of tic symptoms, and behavioral and emotional problems. The maincaretakers of these adolescents were interviewed using the Chinese versionof the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (CK-SADS) toconfirm their comorbid psychiatric diagnoses.Results: Most TS adolescents in this study had mild tic severity. TS adolescentsshowed significantly higher scores than normal controls in all CBCL subscales.The ‘total most severe tics’ YGTSS score was positively correlatedwith internalization behavior problems, externalization behavior problemsand aggressive behavior subscales of the CBCL. As TS adolescents gotolder, their CBCL scores decreased significantly in internalization behaviorproblems, externalization behavior problems, and obsessive-compulsive andaggressive behavior subscales.Conclusion: Taiwanese TS adolescents with mild to moderate tic severity still demonstratedprominent behavior and emotional problems. Although the severity ofbehavior and emotional problems decreased with increasing age, we stillsuggest systematic inquiry regarding the psychological well-being and psychiatriccomorbidities of young TS patients.

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