Executive control development in Tourette syndrome and its role in tic reduction

Asaf Yaniv, Noa Benaroya-Milshtein, Tamar Steinberg, Daphna Ruhrman, Alan Apter, Michal Lavidor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Tourette syndrome (TS) is a childhood-onset disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics. Recent findings point to a possible role of executive functions system development in the tic reduction observed with age. The goal of the present work was to track the development of executive functions system measured by well-established cognitive tasks and its correlation with diminished tic severity over time in order to understand the role of executive functions in the remission process observed in most adults. The first study followed 25 young TS patients, measuring their executive functions and clinical condition at three time- points. In the second study we compared executive functions performance of 19 adult TS patients with 19 healthy controls and 12 remitted TS patients. The first study showed that tic reduction is related to the development of the executive functions components associated with response inhibition. The second study similarly showed impaired inhibition ability in TS patients but not in controls or the remitted TS patients. The remitted group performed at normal or even higher levels on certain measures. We conclude that inhibition, an important executive function, is impaired in subjects suffering from TS and that intact executive function development is related to remission processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-535
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


This study was supported by the Israel Academy of Sciences , Grant no. 367/14 , and the Israeli Center of Research Excellence (I-CORE) in Cognition (I-CORE Program 51/11 ). The authors wish to thank Kim Yeshurun for her assistance with data collection.

FundersFunder number
Israeli Center of Research Excellence
Academy of Leisure Sciences367/14


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