Provisional Tic Disorder: What to tell parents when their child first starts ticcing

Kevin J. Black, Elizabeth Rose Black, Deanna J. Greene, Bradley L. Schlaggar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The child with recent onset of tics is a common patient in a pediatrics or child neurology practice. If the child's first tic was less than a year in the past, the diagnosis is usually Provisional Tic Disorder (PTD). Published reviews by experts reveal substantial consensus on prognosis in this situation: the tics will almost always disappear in a few months, having remained mild while they lasted. Surprisingly, however, the sparse existing data may not support these opinions. PTD may have just as much importance for science as for clinical care. It provides an opportunity to prospectively observe the spontaneous remission of tics. Such prospective studies may aid identification of genes or biomarkers specifically associated with remission rather than onset of tics. A better understanding of tic remission may also suggest novel treatment strategies for Tourette syndrome, or may lead to secondary prevention of tic disorders. This review summarizes the limited existing data on the epidemiology, phenomenology, and outcome of PTD, highlights areas in which prospective study is sorely needed, and proposes that tic disorders may completely remit much less often than is generally believed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number696
StatePublished - 2016


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