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Complex phonic tic and disinhibition in Tourette syndrome: case report

Author(s): Maia Débora Palmini | Cardoso Francisco

Journal: Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
ISSN 0004-282X

Volume: 59;
Issue: 3A;
Start page: 587;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: Tourette syndrome | coprolalia | complex phonic tic | obsessive compulsive disorder

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by a combination of multiple motor tics and at least one phonic tic. TS patients often have associated behavioral abnormalities such as obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit and hyperactive disorder. Coprolalia, defined as emission of obscenities or swearing, is one type of complex vocal tic, present in 8% to 26% of patients. The pathophysiology of coprolalia and other complex phonic tics remains ill-defined. We report a patient whose complex phonic tic was characterized by repetitively saying "breast cancer" on seeing the son of aunt who suffered from this condition. The patient was unable to suppress the tic and did not meet criteria for obsessive compulsive disorder. The phenomenology herein described supports the theory that complex phonic tics result from disinhibition of the loop connecting the basal ganglia with the limbic cortex.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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