While the earlier considerations of tic and allied disorders by descriptive neurologists are pictorial rather than interpretative and reportorial rather than explanatory, the French school of neurology (Brissaud, Meige and Feindle) made a valuable contribution toward the better understanding of the mechanism of the disease when it defined tics as "physiologic acts, originally purposeful but which have become acts apparently purposeless and meaningless." It also emphasized the fact that the mental imperfection of the tiquer is characterized by a mental infantilism, for, like most other psychoneurotics, they have the minds of children in regard to their emotional reactions.
Thus, although the French investigators more sharply defined and limited our conceptions of tic, recognized them as psychoneurotic manifestations and detailed their manifold types, they failed to explain why the purpose, subsequently lost, originally took the particular form of expression exhibited in the individual tic, why it varied in each case, and
OBERNDORF CP. SIMPLE TIC MECHANISM. JAMA. 1916;LXVII(2):99-100. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590020015004