Table 1

Pointers to clinically differentiate tics from functional tic-like movements (both can coincide)

Tics/Tourette syndrome (TS) (references)Functional tic-like movements*
GenderM>F 4:14 F>M 9:1
Age of onset tics/tic-like movements (year)4–64 13.7
Anxiety20%4 68% reported, clinically diagnosed in 50%
ASD5%–15%3 12% repor ted +57% clinically suspected (50% clinically diagnosed in subset of 14 GOSH patients)
CGASMean 59 (SD 7.9)4 Median 45 (range 35–75)
Waxing and waningOften present32%
Premonitory urge77%4 62% †
SuppressibilityOften present59%
Pali/echo/copro-like phenomenaCoprolalia and copropraxia in 12.4%–28%577%
First tics started in head/neck/rostrocaudal presentation90%4 62%
Yale Global Tic Severity ScoreMean 254 Mean 62.6 (SD 19)
Watching videos of ‘tics’ on social mediaUnknown77%
  • *Based on 34 patients presenting with functional tic-like movement to specialist tic clinics (1 October 2020–30 April 2021) in London, UK and Calgary, Canada.

  • †This study lacks qualitative data, and we can thus not differentiate the types of urges in this series from those described in patients with chronic tic disorders/TS.

  • ‡In TS without comorbidity, coprolalia was seen in 10% and copropraxia in 2.4%. In TS with comorbidity, this was 21% and 7%, respectively (5).

  • ASD, autism spectrum disorder; CGAS, Children’s Global Assessment Scale; F, female; M, male.