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Schizotypal personality traits in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

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Cavanna AE, Robertson MM, Critchley HD. Schizotypal personality traits in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

Acta Neurol Scand 2007: 116: 385–391.

© 2007 The Authors Journal compilation © 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objectives – 

Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) is a chronic tic disorder associated with comorbid psychopathology, including obsessionality, affective instability and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Evidence linking GTS with schizophrenia-like symptoms is limited and equivocal, despite a common putative substrate involving dopaminergic dysfunction within frontostriatal circuits. The aim of this study was to quantify the prevalence of schizotypal traits in GTS and to detail the relationship between schizotypy and comorbid psychopathology. Materials and methods – 

A total of 102 subjects with GTS were evaluated using the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire and standardized neurological and psychiatric rating scales. The predictive interrelation between schizotypy, tic-related symptoms and psychiatric comorbidities was investigated using correlation and multiple regression analyses. Results – 

In our clinical population, 15% of the subjects were diagnosed with the schizotypal personality disorder according to the DSM-IV criteria. The strongest predictors of schizotypy were obsessionality and anxiety ratings. The presence of multiple psychiatric comorbidities correlated positively with schizotypy scores. Conclusions – 

Schizotypal traits are relatively common in patients with GTS, and reflect the presence of comorbid psychopathology, related to the anxiety spectrum. In particular, our preliminary results are consistent with a shared neurochemical substrate for the mechanisms underpinning tic expression, obsessionality and specific schizotypal traits.
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Keywords: Gilles de la Tourette syndrome; obsessive–compulsive disorder; schizotypy; tics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, UK and Department of Neurology, Amedeo Avogadro University, Novara, Italy 2: UCL Institute of Neurology and Department of Mental Health Sciences, St Georges Hospital Medical School, London, UK 3: Department of Psychiatry, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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