Academic underachievement with Tourette, tic disorders

(HealthDay)—Individuals with Tourette syndrome or chronic tic disorders have lower likelihood of academic achievement, according to a study published online May 29 in JAMA Neurology.

Ana Pérez-Vigil, M.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the correlation of Tourette syndrome and chronic tic disorders with objectively measured educational outcomes in a population-based birth cohort of individuals born in Sweden from 1976 to 1998. The cohort included 2,115,554 individuals, of whom 3,590 had registered a diagnosis of Tourette syndrome or a chronic tic disorder in specialist care. There were 2,697 families that included siblings discordant for these disorders.

The researchers found that people with Tourette syndrome or chronic tic disorders were significantly less likely to pass all core and additional courses at the end of compulsory school compared with unexposed individuals (odds ratios ranging from 0.23 to 0.36) and to access a vocational program or academic program in upper secondary education (adjusted odds ratios, 0.31 and 0.43, respectively). Individuals with the disorders also had a reduced likelihood of finishing upper secondary education, starting a university degree, and finishing a university degree (adjusted odds ratios, 0.35, 0.41, and 0.39, respectively). In fully-adjusted sibling comparison models, the results were marginally attenuated.

“Help-seeking individuals with Tourette syndrome or chronic tic disorders seen in specialist settings experience substantial academic underachievement across all educational levels,” the authors write.

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