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December 1986

Gilles de la Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Evidence Supporting a Genetic Relationship

Author Affiliations

From the Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(12):1180-1182. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800120066013

• Previous studies have suggested that obsessive-compulsive symptoms frequently occur among patients with Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (TS). To examine the relationship between TS and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), data from all first-degree relatives of TS probands were obtained with a semistructured interview designed to collect information on the presence of TS, other tic disorders, and neuropsychiatric illnesses during the lifetime of the individual. The rate of OCD among first-degree relatives was significantly increased over estimates from the general population and a control sample of adoptive relatives. The rates of TS, OCD, and chronic multiple tics (CMT) were virtually the same in families of probands with OCD (TS ± OCD) when compared with families of probands without OCD (TS-OCD). Finally, the frequency of OCD without TS or CMT among first-degree relatives was significantly elevated in families of both TS + OCD and TS-OCD probands, suggesting that some forms of OCD may represent an alternative expression of the factors responsible for TS and/or CMT.