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Influence Of Gender On Tourette Syndrome Beyond Adolescence

D.G. Lichter, S.G. Finnegan

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AbstractAlthough boys are disproportionately affected by tics in Tourette syndrome (TS), this gender bias is attenuated in adulthood and a recent study has suggested that women may experience greater functional interference from tics than men. The authors assessed the gender distribution of adults in a tertiary University-based TS clinic population and the relative influence of gender and other variables on adult tic severity (YGTSS score) and psychosocial functioning (GAF score). We also determined retrospectively the influence of gender on change in global tic severity and overall TS impairment (YGTSS) since adolescence. Females were over-represented in relation to previously published epidemiologic surveys of both TS children and adults. Female gender was associated with a greater likelihood of tic worsening as opposed to tic improvement in adulthood; a greater likelihood of expansion as opposed to contraction of motor tic distribution; and with increased current motor tic severity and tic-related impairment. However, gender explained only a small percentage of the variance of the YGTSS global severity score and none of the variance of the GAF scale score. Psychosocial functioning was influenced most strongly by tic severity but also by a variety of comorbid neuropsychiatric disorders.