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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


CSABI, Györgyi et al. Minor physical anomalies in Tourette syndrome. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.3, pp.173-180. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: The prevalence of minor physical anomalies (prenatal errors of morphogenesis) was evaluated in patients with Tourette syndrome to get indirect data on the possible role of aberrant neurodevelopment in the aetiology of Tourette syndrome. No published study is known on the minor physical anomaly prevalence in this recently intensively investigated disorder, and connecting to current opinions on a possible role of aberrant neurodevelopment in Tourette syndrome it seems important to introduce trait marker research focusing on brain maldevelopment. Methods: A scale developed by Méhes1,2 was used to detect the presence or absence of 57 minor physical anomalies in 24 patients with Tourette syndrome and in 24 matched controls 21 boys and 3 girls were evaluated, the age of onset of illness among the Tourette patients was between the age of 5 and 13. Results: The mean value of all minor physical anomalies was significantly higher among the group of patients compared with controls. (Mann - Whitney U - value: 49, 50, -Z = - 4,92, p = 0,001) In the case of 7 minor physical anomalies we could demonstrate statistically significant differences between the Tourette and the control sample. In the case of 4 minor malformations (supernumary nipples, prominent forehead, tongue with smooth and rough spots, double posterior hair whorl) and of 3 phenogenetic variants (antimongoloid slant, inner epicanthic folds, high arched palate) a significantly higher frequency was observed compared with control individuals. However after Bonferroni correction for the Fisher’s Exact test, only double posterior hair whorl and high arched palate showed a significantly higher frequency compared to control children (p = 0.001). Conclusions: The overrepresentation of minor physical anomalies in Tourette syndrome can strongly support the view that this disorder is related to pathological factors operating early in development.

Keywords : Minor physical anomalies; Tourette syndrome; Neurodevelopment.

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