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October 1952

NATURE AND TREATMENT OF TICS IN ADULTS

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and the Psychiatric Service of the Massachusetts General Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1952;68(4):444-459. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1952.02320220021002
Abstract

FEW PEOPLE consult the psychiatrist because of tics. The neurologist is asked to examine only the severest, most bizarre and incapacitating forms. Yet the symptom is seen frequently. Many psychoneurotic patients display tics in the form of automatic gestures, grimaces, twitches, jerks, and spasms, for which they do not primarily seek help. For this reason, the psychiatrist is probably most able to contribute to an understanding of tics, since, in the vis-á-vis position, he can observe periodic outbursts of tics in association with psychological problems. In many instances, the discussion of certain conflicts during the interview is accompanied by an obbligato of tics, which seem to underscore the patient's anxiety.

In this paper, several cases of psychoneurosis in which tic was a leading symptom will be reported. Most previous studies of tics have been on children; all our patients were adults. In all instances the tic originally appeared to be

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