Tourettism in multiple sclerosis: a case report

Anna Rita Bentivoglio, Tommaso Tartaglione, Viviana Nociti, Alfonso Fasano, Giovanni Frisullo, Pietro Attilio Tonali, Anna Paola Batocchi

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The term Tourettism refers to Tourette Syndrome (TS)-like symptoms which appear secondary to a variety of both acquired and congenital neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders or following an exposure to several drugs. The association between Tourettism and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is very rare. Only two cases of patients affected by MS who also showed a simple phonic tic and complex vocal tics respectively have been reported. The case here described reports of a 30 year-old woman affected by secondary-progressive MS who developed, 7 years after the onset of the disease, TS-like symptoms which were responsive to quetiapine. At that time her brain MRI, when compared with the previous scan, showed an increased lesion burden and an increased atrophy in the regions around Sylvian fissures. Considering recent findings on TS, the increased atrophy in these strategic brain regions could be responsible for the tics onset in our patient. At the same time, the diffuse involvement of the white matter and the progressive brain atrophy which we observed could have impaired the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical circuits consistently implicated in the pathogenesis of TS. In conclusion, we can hypothesize that in our case Tourettism and MS could be considered causal related more than coincidentally associated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-290
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Atrophy
  • Basal Ganglia
  • Brain
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Dibenzothiazepines
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated
  • Neural Pathways
  • Thalamus
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Treatment Outcome

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