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New treatment for Tourette's

Tics are common and may present to both paediatric and child psychiatry clinics. For most, reassurance and advice are all that is needed, but for a few they can become seriously disabling and may progress to Tourette's syndrome. Treatment with antipsychotic drugs such as Haloperidol is effective, but can severe side-effects such as sedation, dystonia and tardive dyskinesia. Newer ‘atypical’ antipsychotic drugs are being used increasingly in schizophrenia as they appear to be better tolerated. One such is Aripiprazole: researchers from Jiangsu, China set out to review the literature on its use in Tourette's in young people, and attempt a meta-analysis (Liu Y, et al. J Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 2016. doi:10.1089/cap.2015.0125).

They found 10 studies, but only one was a randomised controlled trial (RCT); the others were open trials. All used one of two standardised scoring systems: Yale Global Tic Severity Score (YGTSS) or Clinical Global Impressions Scale for Tic Severity (CGI-S). Over 300 young people (mean age 11.6 years) were involved.

All the studies showed a significant improvement (overall effect size for fall in YGTSS −2.0 [95% CI …

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