Introduction: Abnormal sensory perceptions, for instance hypersensitivity to certain external stimuli or premonitory urges preceding tics, are core features in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS). Aberrant awareness of externally applied stimuli in terms of altered sensory perception thresholds might contribute to these sensory phenomena in GTS. Methods: We used the well-established and standardized "Quantitative Sensory Testing" (QST) battery (German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain) to investigate 13 sensory parameters including thermal, mechanical/tactile and pain thresholds in 14 GTS patients without clinically significant comorbidities and 14 healthy controls matched for age and gender. Results: There were no relevant group differences in any of the 13 QST parameters and no specific QST pattern in GTS patients. There was no correlation between QST parameters and "Premonitory Urge for Tics scale" (PUTS) scores. Conclusion: Our data show that the perceptual threshold detection of externally applied sensory stimuli is normal in adults with GTS. This indicates that other perceptual mechanisms, such as abnormal central sensorimotor processing and/or aberrant interoceptive awareness might underlie the clinically significant sensory abnormalities in GTS.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)