Sex-related and non-sex-related comorbidity subtypes of tic disorders: a latent class approach

Authors

  • S. Rodgers,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • M. Müller,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • W. Kawohl,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland
    2. University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • D. Knöpfli,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • W. Rössler,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland
    2. Collegium Helveticum, University of Zurich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • E. Castelao,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • M. Preisig,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • V. Ajdacic-Gross

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland
    2. University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
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  • See editorial by Cavanna and Martino on page 685.

Correspondence: S. Rodgers, Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry, P.O. Box 1930, CH-8021 Zurich, Switzerland (tel.: +0041 44 296 74 22; fax: +0041 44 296 74 49; e-mail: stephanie.rodgers@dgsp.uzh.ch).

Abstract

Background and purpose

Recent evidence suggests that there may be more than one Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS)/tic disorder phenotype. However, little is known about the common patterns of these GTS/tic disorder-related comorbidities. In addition, sex-specific phenomenological data of GTS/tic disorder-affected adults are rare. Therefore, this community-based study used latent class analyses (LCA) to investigate sex-related and non-sex-related subtypes of GTS/tic disorders and their most common comorbidities.

Methods

The data were drawn from the PsyCoLaus study (n = 3691), a population-based survey conducted in Lausanne, Switzerland. LCA were performed on the data of 80 subjects manifesting motor/vocal tics during their childhood/adolescence. Comorbid attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, depressive, phobia and panic symptoms/syndromes comprised the selected indicators. The resultant classes were characterized by psychosocial correlates.

Results

In LCA, four latent classes provided the best fit to the data. We identified two male-related classes. The first class exhibited both ADHD and depression. The second class comprised males with only depression. Class three was a female-related class depicting obsessive thoughts/compulsive acts, phobias and panic attacks. This class manifested high psychosocial impairment. Class four had a balanced sex proportion and comorbid symptoms/syndromes such as phobias and panic attacks. The complementary occurrence of comorbid obsessive thoughts/compulsive acts and ADHD impulsivity was remarkable.

Conclusions

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study applying LCA to community data of GTS symptoms/tic disorder-affected persons. Our findings support the utility of differentiating GTS/tic disorder subphenotypes on the basis of comorbid syndromes.

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