• Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (TS) is a severe, familial neuropsychiatric disorder of childhood onset that is characterized by multiform motor, phonic, behavioral, and psychological symptoms. Clonidine hydrochloride, a centrally active α-adrenergic agonist, was observed to ameliorate the disorder in the majority of 25 patients who could not tolerate or did not benefit from treatment with haloperidol. Clonidine had a gradual onset of action. Compulsive behavior, frustration intolerance, speech difficulties, behavioral blocking, attentional problems, and tics were responsive to treatment. The noradrenergic system may be involved, primarily or secondarily, in the expression of the genetic predisposition to TS. These observations will require testing by suitably controlled efficacy studies.
Cohen DJ, Detlor J, Young JG, Shaywitz BA. Clonidine Ameliorates Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(12):1350–1357. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780250036004