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June 1961

Tic de Gilles de la Tourette

Author Affiliations

Fellow in Child Psychiatry, Pittsburgh Child Guidance Center, and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry (Dr. Tobin), and Director, Psychiatric Clinic, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (Dr. Reinhart).

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(6):778-783. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020070092013

Gilles de la Tourette described in 18851 a group of patients suffering from multiple tics and coprolalia. Sometimes, though not always, echolalia and echokinesis were present. A comprehensive clinical study of this rare syndrome was recently published by Eisenberg, Ascher, and Kanner.2 Characteristically, symptoms begin in childhood before age 10 with tics involving the upper part of the body. They may begin in the head and spread to involve upper limbs and later the trunk, as well as lower extremities. Eye-blinking, head twisting, grimacing, protrusion of the tongue, grinding of the teeth, repetitive sudden movements of the limbs with jumping, kicking, etc., are among the great variety of tics described. These phenomena are more pronounced in those under emotional stress. Peculiar throat noises usually appear early and are variously described as "inarticulate cries, rasping, barking": and it is these noises as they become articulate as coprolalia—explosive and repetitive

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