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Chapter: Essentials of Psychiatry: Childhood Disorders: Tic Disorders

Tic Disorders: Epidemiology

Incidence and Prevalence



Incidence and Prevalence


Tic disorders appear to be common (.1 : 100), whereas Tourette’s disorder is less common (5 : 10 000. In general, tic disorders oc-cur more frequently in children than adults. People with mild tic disorders are much more common that those with severe, com-plex symptoms. Also people with tic disorders may present for clinical attention with tics, but tics may not end up as the focus of clinical attention as comorbid conditions are often more impair-ing than the tics themselves. Given these realities, the numbers of adults with persistent and severely impairing tics that warrant tic-suppressing medication is probably very small and may still be considered rare. More common are those adults with mild to moderate Tourette’s disorder who come to clinical attention not only because of tics, but also because of comorbid psychiatric disorders. Perhaps most common are those adults with mild tics, with and without comorbid symptoms that do not come to clinical attention at all. A similar pattern is seen in children, with fewer children presenting with severe tics warranting tic suppression than children with mild to moderate tics and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Perhaps the most common are those children with transient tics that are not impairing and without comorbid condi-tions who may never come to clinical attention.

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Essentials of Psychiatry: Childhood Disorders: Tic Disorders : Tic Disorders: Epidemiology |

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