Influence of comorbid obsessive-compulsive symptoms on brain event-related potentials in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

Geneviève Thibault, Mihaela Felezeu, Kieron P. O'Connor, Christo Todorov, Emmanuel Stip, Marc E. Lavoie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Approximately 30 to 50% of people suffering from Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (GTS) also fulfill diagnostic criteria for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Despite this high degree of comorbidity, very few studies have addressed the question of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) in GTS patients using specific brain event-related potentials (ERP) responses. The aim of the current study was to quantify neurocognitive aspects of comorbidity, using ERPs. Fourteen adults with GTS (without OCD) were compared to a group of 12 participants with GTS and comorbid obsessive-compulsive symptoms (GTS + OCS), to a group of 15 participants with OCD and to a group of 14 control participants without neurological or psychiatric problems. The P200 and P300 components were recorded during a visual counting oddball task. Results showed intact P200 amplitude in all groups, whilst the P300 amplitude was affected differentially across groups. The P300 oddball effect was reduced in participants in both OCD and GTS + OCS groups in the anterior region. However, the P300 oddball effect was significantly larger in participants of the GTS group compared to all other groups, mostly in the parietal region. These findings suggest that adults with GTS are characterized by enhanced working memory updating processes and that the superimposition of OCS can lead to a reduction of these processes. The discrepancy between our findings and results obtained in previous studies on GTS could reflect the modulating effect of OCS on late ERP components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-815
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Comorbidity
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Oddball effect
  • P200
  • P300
  • Tourette syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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