Pre- and perinatal complications have been implicated in the onset and clinical expression of Tourette syndrome albeit with considerable inconsistencies across studies. Also, little is known about their role in co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention–deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in individuals with a tic disorder. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the role of pre- and perinatal complications in relation to the presence and symptom severity of chronic tic disorder and co-occurring OCD and ADHD using data of 1113 participants from the Tourette International Collaborative Genetics study. This study included 586 participants with a chronic tic disorder and 527 unaffected family controls. We controlled for age and sex differences by creating propensity score matched subsamples for both case-control and within-case analyses. We found that premature birth (OR = 1.72) and morning sickness requiring medical attention (OR = 2.57) were associated with the presence of a chronic tic disorder. Also, the total number of pre- and perinatal complications was higher in those with a tic disorder (OR = 1.07). Furthermore, neonatal complications were related to the presence (OR = 1.46) and severity (b = 2.27) of co-occurring OCD and also to ADHD severity (b = 1.09). Delivery complications were only related to co-occurring OCD (OR = 1.49). We conclude that early exposure to adverse situations during pregnancy is related to the presence of chronic tic disorders. Exposure at a later stage, at birth or during the first weeks of life, appears to be associated with co-occurring OCD and ADHD.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)