Surge in New-Onset Tics in Adults Tied to COVID-19 Stress!
An unusual surge of new-onset tics in patients with no prior history of these disorders, has been tied to the psychological stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, new research suggests. Results from a large, single-center study show several cases of tic-like movements and vocalizations with abrupt onset among older adolescents and adults during the pandemic. None had a previous diagnosis of a tic disorder. Among 10 patients, two were diagnosed with a purely functional movement disorder, four with an organic tic disorder, and four with both.
@puneet Tic disorders typically start in childhood. However, the researchers observed an increase in the number of patients with abrupt onset of tic-like movements and vocalizations later in life, which is more often characteristic of functional neurological disorders. To examine the profile, associated conditions, and risk factors in this population the investigators conducted a thorough chart review of patients attending movement disorders clinics between March 2020, when the COVID pandemic was officially declared, and March 2021. Patients with acute onset of tics were identified using the International Classification of Diseases codes for behavioral tics, tic vocalizations, and Tourette syndrome. The charts were then narrowed down to patients with no previous diagnosis of these conditions. Most patients were videotaped for assessment by the rest of the movement disorder neurologists in the practice. Since the end of the study inclusion period in March 2021, Olvera estimates that the clinic experienced a doubling or tripling of the number of similar patients.