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Kirsten R Müller-Vahl 1 Article
Premonitory Urges Reconsidered: Urge Location Corresponds to Tic Location in Patients With Primary Tic Disorders
Jana Essing, Ewgeni Jakubovski, Nikolas Psathakis, Sinan N Cevirme, James F Leckman, Kirsten R Müller-Vahl
J Mov Disord. 2022;15(1):43-52.   Published online January 25, 2022
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
In patients with Tourette syndrome and other primary tic disorders (PTDs), tics are typically preceded by premonitory urges (PUs). To date, only a few studies have investigated the location and frequency of PUs, and contrary to clinical experience, the results suggest that PUs are not located in the same anatomic region as the tics. This study aimed to further explore PU location and frequency in detail, differentiating the kind and complexity of the corresponding tics, in a large sample of patients with PTD.
A total of 291 adult (≥ 18 years) patients with a confirmed diagnosis of chronic PTD were included. The study was conducted online, assement included tics and the general characterization of PUs and a sophisticated body drawing for locating PUs.
We found that PUs were located in the same body area as, or in direct proximity to, the corresponding tic. Most frequently, PUs were located in the face and at the head (62.1%). Compared with simple tics, complex (motor and vocal) tics were more often preceded by a PU; but there was no difference in PU frequency observed between motor tics and vocal tics. PUs were more often experienced at the front than at the back of the body (73% vs. 27%), while there was no difference between the right and left sides (41.6% vs. 41.3%).
The strong association between PU and tic location further supports the hypothesis that PUs represent the core of PTD. Accordingly, future therapies should focus on treating PUs to achieve greater tic reduction.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Mass social media-induced illness presenting with Tourette-like behavior
    Carolin Fremer, Natalia Szejko, Anna Pisarenko, Martina Haas, Luise Laudenbach, Claudia Wegener, Kirsten R. Müller-Vahl
    Frontiers in Psychiatry.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Tics bei Erwachsenen
    Tina Rawish, Gesine Sallandt, Alexander Münchau
    NeuroTransmitter.2022; 33(12): 38.     CrossRef

JMD : Journal of Movement Disorders