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Tourette's disorder: epidemiology and comorbidity in primary school children.

Journal article
Authors Björn Kadesjö
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume 39
Issue 5
Pages 548-555
ISSN 0890-8567
Publication year 2000
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Pages 548-555
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Asperger Syndrome, Complications, Diagnosis, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Complications, Diagnosis, Catchment Area (Health), Child, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Comorbidity, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Complications, Diagnosis, Prevalence, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Psychometrics, Statistics & numerical data, Random Allocation, Reproducibility of Results, Schools, Severity of Illness Index, Students, Sweden, Epidemiology, Tourette Syndrome, Complications, Diagnosis, Epidemiology
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


Objective To study prevalence and comorbidity of Tourette's disorder in the general population of children and in a clinical setting. Method School-age children in the general population and children attending a county-wide tic disorder clinic were screened and examined by the same doctor. Behavioral-psychometric instruments with demonstrated reliability and validity were used. Results Depending on the sample characteristics, 0.15% to 1.1% of all children had Tourette's disorder. Boys outnumbered girls by 4:1 through 6:1. Attention deficits and empathy/autism spectrum problems (including Asperger's disorder) were very common, each type of comorbidity affecting approximately two thirds of individuals with Tourette's disorder. Overall behavior problem scores were high, and affected children exhibited a marked degree of functional impairment. Conclusions Tourette's disorder is a common disorder with high rates of significant comorbidity. In most cases, attention deficits and empathy problems are likely to cause more suffering than the tics per se. Key Words: Tourette's disorder; prevalence; comorbidity; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; autism; Asperger's disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder; deficits in attention; motor control; perception

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