Association of cortical disinhibition with tic, ADHD, and OCD severity in Tourette syndrome



Hyperkinetic disorders may involve excess excitatory output from thalamus to cerebral cortex. Case–control, neurophysiological studies in persons with Tourette Syndrome (TS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) support this model. To compare the strength of association between motor cortex inhibition and tic, ADHD, and OCD severity in TS, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation to measure motor cortex inhibition in 36 children and adults with TS. Current symptom severity was assessed with standard clinical rating scales and compared with neurophysiological measures using correlational and multivariate regression analyses. Severity of ADHD symptoms and motor tics were associated significantly and independently with short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) (r2 = 0.50; F[2,27] = 13.7; P < 0.001), particularly in subjects not taking neuroleptics (r2 = 0.68; F[2,17] = 17.8; P < 0.0001). The correlation of cortical disinhibition was greater with ADHD symptoms severity (r = 0.53; P = 0.003) than with tic severity (r = 0.42; P = 0.02), suggesting that in TS, the association between SICI and ADHD symptoms may be more consistent or direct than the association between SICI and tics. © 2004 Movement Disorder Society