29 Scopus citations


Motor and vocal tics are common in childhood. The received wisdom among clinicians is that for most children the tics are temporary, disappearing within a few months. However, that common clinical teaching is based largely on biased and incomplete data. The present study was designed to prospectively assess outcome of children with what the current nomenclature calls Provisional Tic Disorder. We identified 43 children with recent onset tics (mean 3.3 months since tic onset) and re-examined 39 of them on the 12-month anniversary of their first tic. Tic symptoms improved on a group level at the 12-month follow-up, and only two children had more than minimal impairment due to tics. Remarkably, however, tics were present in all children at follow-up, although in several cases tics were apparent only when the child was observed remotely by video. Our results suggest that remission of Provisional Tic Disorder is the exception rather than the rule. We also identified several clinical features present at the first examination that predict one-year outcome; these include baseline tic severity, subsyndromal autism spectrum symptoms, and the presence of an anxiety disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3951
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


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