PhD student in Neuroscience
Université de Montréal
Award-winning publication: The puzzling question of inhibitory control in Tourette syndrome: A meta-analysis
Published in: Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Tourette syndrome (TS) is mainly characterized by motor and vocal tics, and is often marked by disruptive or impulsive behaviours, such as explosive or aggressive outbursts, rage attacks, etc. However, neuropsychological studies into inhibitory performance in TS patients have had conflicting findings. Therefore, Simon Morand-Beaulieu and his team sought to clarify whether TS patients do in fact have inhibitory deficits, and to analyze the factors modulating these deficits. To this end, they carried out a meta-analysis of 61 studies. The analysis revealed moderate inhibitory deficits in TS patients. Furthermore, several factors appear to contribute to reducing inhibitory control: the presence of an attention deficit with or without hyperactivity and more severe tics are associated with greater inhibitory deficits. The negative behaviours arising from these deficits, such as impulsiveness or explosive outbursts, are often more problematic for patients and their entourage than the tics themselves. The results of this study will therefore encourage health professionals to systematically evaluate and treat ADHD symptoms in TS patients.