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A Twin Study of Tourette Syndrome

R. Arlen Price, PhD; Kenneth K. Kidd, PhD; Donald J. Cohen, MD; David L. Pauls, PhD; James F. Leckman, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(8):815-820. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790310077011.
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• In 43 pairs of same-sex twins, in which at least one co-twin had Tourette syndrome (TS), 30 pairs were probably monozygotic (MZ) and 13 were probably dizygotic (DZ). Concordances for TS were 53% and 8% for MZ and DZ pairs, respectively. When diagnostic criteria were broadened to include any tics in co-twins, concordance rates were 77% and 23% for MZ and DZ pairs, respectively. These concordances are consistent with genetic etiology. However, the fact that only 53% of MZ twins were fully concordant indicates nongenetic factors affect expression of TS. Presence of tics in discordant co-twins and timing of onset in partially concordant co-twins support an association between TS and tics in families with TS present. The data are inconclusive on whether some MZ twins with discordant co-twins are etiologically different from those who are concordant.

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