Sleep Disorders in Children With Tourette Syndrome



      The objective of this study was to determine the frequency, nature, and impact of sleep disorders in children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome and to raise awareness about their possible inclusion as a Tourette syndrome comorbidity.


      Using a prospective questionnaire, we interviewed 123 patients of age ≤21 years with a confirmed diagnosis of Tourette syndrome. Each completed questionnaire was then reviewed in accordance with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, criteria for categorization to a form of sleep disorder.


      Of the 123 patients with Tourette syndrome, 75 (61%) had comorbid attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and 48 (39%) had Tourette without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The sleep problems observed included problems in the nature of sleep, abnormal behaviors during sleep, and impact of sleep disturbances on quality of life. Within these cohorts, 31 (65%) of the 48 Tourette-only patients and 48 (64%) of the 75 Tourette + attention deficit hyperactivity disorder patients could fit into some form of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, coded sleep disorders. Of the 48 Tourette + attention deficit hyperactivity disorder patients with sleep disorders, 36 (75%) had insomnia signs, which could be explained by the co-occurrence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and high stimulant use. However, 10 (32%) of the 31 Tourette-only patients with sleep disorders had insomnia irrespective of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or medication use.


      Sleep problems are common in children with Tourette syndrome irrespective of comorbid attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, justifying their inclusion as a comorbidity of Tourette syndrome.


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