Are OCD and Tourette’s Syndrome Linked?

Read Transcript

There's a very intriguing relationship between some forms of OCD and ticks or Tourette's syndrome. Ticks are darting uncontrollable movements and Tourette's syndrome requires that you have multiple mortar movements as well as some sound that you have made some vocalization to meet criteria for Tourette's.

As a child through the onset illness, usually declares itself between the ages of seven and 11, and what we've seen is some for these individuals who have Tourette's or multiple ticks is like you often go on to develop OCD. In fact about 50% of patients with Tourette's will develop obsessive compulsive symptoms.

If you look at the universe of OCD, the number that actually have a history of ticks or family history of ticks is probably more in the order 15, 20% but for those who start with ticks, OCD is often part of the picture.