Premonitory sensory phenomenon in Tourette's syndrome

Authors

  • Carolyn Kwak MS, PA-C,

    1. Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
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  • Kevin Dat Vuong MA,

    1. Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
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  • Joseph Jankovic MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
    • Department of Neurology, Director of Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, 6550 Fannin St. Suite 1801, Houston, TX 77030
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Abstract

We administered a questionnaire designed to probe for premonitory sensations associated with motor tics to 50 patients with Tourette's syndrome (TS). Premonitory sensations were reported by 46 (92%) patients, and the most common sensation was an urge to move and an impulse to tic (“had to do it”). Intensification of premonitory sensations, if prevented from performing a motor tic, was reported also in 37 patients (74%), 36 patients (72%) reported relief of premonitory sensations after performing the tic, and 27 of 40 (68%) described a motor tic as a voluntary motor response to an involuntary sensation, rather than a completely involuntary movement. The “just right” sensation correlated with the presence of co-morbid obsessive-compulsive disorder. We conclude that premonitory sensations are an important aspect of motor tics and some patients perceive motor tics as a voluntary movement in response to an involuntary sensation. © 2003 Movement Disorder Society

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