Prevalence and phenomenology of eye tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

Davide Martino, Andrea E Cavanna, Mary M Robertson, Michael Orth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Eye tics seem to be common in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS). We analyzed the frequency and clinical characteristics of eye tics in 212 GTS patients. Of the 212 patients, 201 (94.8 %) reported eye tics in their life-time; 166 (78.3 %) reported eye movement tics (rolling eyes up/down, eyes looking sideways, staring), and 194 (91.5 %) eyelid/eyebrow movement tics (frowning, raising eyebrows, blinking or winking). Patients with eye movement tics were younger at age of GTS onset (7.1 ± 4 years) than those without (8.9 ± 6.8; p = 0.024). Tic severity positively correlated to lifetime history of eye and/or eyelid/eyebrow movement tics. Our data confirm that eye and eyelid/eyebrow movement tics are very common in GTS, and most patients have several types of eye tics over time. Eye tic phenomenology was similar in patients with or without co-morbidity. Eye tics are therefore likely to be a core feature of GTS and should be routinely evaluated in order to strengthen the clinician's confidence in diagnosing GTS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2137-40
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Eye
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Tics/epidemiology
  • Tourette Syndrome/complications
  • Young Adult


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence and phenomenology of eye tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this