Autism Spectrum Symptoms in a Tourette Syndrome Sample

Darrow, Sabrina M., Grados, Marco, Sandor, Paul, Hirschtritt, Matthew E., Illmann, Cornelia, Osiecki, Lisa, Dion, Yves, King, Robert, Pauls, David, Budman, Cathy L., Cath, Danielle C., Greenberg, Erica, Lyon, Gholson J., McMahon, William M., Lee, Paul C., Delucchi, Kevin L., Scharf, Jeremiah M., Mathews, Carol A. (July 2017) Autism Spectrum Symptoms in a Tourette Syndrome Sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 56 (7). pp. 610-617. ISSN 0890-8567

DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2017.05.002


AbstractObjective Tourette syndrome (TS) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share clinical features and possibly an overlapping etiology. This study: 1) examined ASD symptom rates in participants with TS and 2) characterized the relationships between ASD symptom patterns and TS, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method Participants with TS (n = 535) and their family members (n =234) recruited for genetic studies reported TS, OCD, and ADHD symptoms and completed the Social Responsiveness Scale Second Edition (SRS), which was used to characterize ASD symptoms. Results SRS scores in participants with TS were similar to those observed in other clinical samples but lower than in ASD samples (mean SRS total raw score = 51; SD=32.4). More children with TS met cut-off criteria for ASD (22.8%) than adults with TS (8.7%). The elevated rate in children was primarily due to high scores on the SRS Repetitive and Restricted Behaviors (RRB) subscale. Total SRS scores were correlated with TS (r=0.27), OCD (r=0.37), and ADHD (r=0.44) and were higher among individuals with OCD symptom-based phenotypes than for those with tics alone. Conclusion Higher observed rates of ASD among children affected by TS may in part be due to difficulty in discriminating complex tics and OCD symptoms from ASD symptoms. Careful examination of ASD-specific symptom patterns (social communication vs. repetitive behaviors) is essential. Independent of ASD, the SRS may be a useful tool for identifying patients with TS with impairments in social communication, potentially putting them at risk for bullying and other negative sequelae.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tourette syndrome autism obsessive-compulsive disorder attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder heritability
Subjects: diseases & disorders > mental disorders > personality disorders > autism
diseases & disorders > mental disorders > Tourette Syndrome
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Lyon lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: July 2017
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2017 20:10
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2018 16:01
PMCID: PMC5648014
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

Administrator's edit/view item Administrator's edit/view item
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving