Unifying Concepts

Diagnostic Criteria for Tourette’s Syndrome

Tourette’s syndrome (sometimes called Tourette’s disorder) is a childhood-onset condition characterized by motor and vocal tics that are chronic (duration of >1 year).

Diagnostic Criteria for Tourette’s Syndrome

  • Both multiple motor tics and one or more vocal tics have been present at some time during the illness, although not necessarily concurrently.
  • The tics occur many times a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day or intermittently throughout a period of more than 3 consecutive months.
  • The onset is before 18 years of age.
  • The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., stimulants) or a general medical condition (e.g., Huntington’s disease or postviral encephalitis).



  1. Diagnostic and statistical manual of psychiatry. 4th ed. rev. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
  2. Kurlan R. Clinical practice. Tourette’s Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2010 Dec 9;363(24):2332-8.[Medline]


Created Jul 15, 2011.

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