Neurocognitive changes following cognitive-behavioral treatment in tourette syndrome and chronic tic disorder

Marc E. Lavoie, Tina V. Imbriglio, Emmanuel Stip, Kieron P. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (GTS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by multiple fluctuating motor tics and one or more phonic tics. Various treatments have been administered with limited success to patients with GTS. For more than 40 years, the medication of choice has generally been neuroleptic medication. However, unwanted side effects often occur. For those patients, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies (CBT) have shown some success. CBT is considered an effective adjunct to medication, but the cognitive and cerebral effect of CBT has not so far been explored within a GTS population. The current research focuses on the hypothesis that significant symptom improvements in GTS, following CBT, will relate to cerebral activity changes. The aim of our research program was to compare motor Event-Related Potentials (ERP) recorded pre- and post-CBT in a population of GTS. We recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) and derived the ERPs of 10 GTS patients, matched with 14 controls on the basis of laterality, age and intelligence. A traffic light task was administered to extract ERPs related to response processing. Results revealed that GTS had reduced cortical activation related to the inhibition of responses, which normalized following CBT. The treatment may induce cerebral changes that significantly improve both motor performances and brain activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-50
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Cognitive Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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