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2.
BMJ Open ; 12(6): e058534, 2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923243

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This paper outlines the study protocol for the Dutch Tackle Your Tics study in youth with tic disorders. Tourette syndrome and chronic tic disorders are prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders, placing considerable burden on youth and their families. Behavioural treatment is the first-line, evidence-based intervention for tic disorders, but tic reduction and availability remain relatively low. Patient associations stress the need for more accessible high-quality treatments, also focusing on improving quality of life. Therefore, the brief, intensive group-based treatment Tackle Your Tics was developed. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Tackle Your Tics is a 4-day intensive and comprehensive group-based intervention for children and adolescents (9-17 years) with Tourette syndrome or a chronic tic disorder. The programme encompasses exposure and response prevention treatment and additional supporting components (coping strategies, relaxation exercises and parent support). To study the effectiveness of Tackle Your Tics and identify predictors/moderators at baseline, a single-blinded randomised controlled trial (n=104) is conducted, comparing Tackle Your Tics (n=52) with a waiting list condition lasting 3 months (n=52). Assessments are performed at similar time points for both groups: at baseline, after 4 weeks, and at 3 and 6 months of follow-up, on tic severity, quality of life and other psychosocial variables. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval has been obtained from the medical ethical committee of the Amsterdam Medical Centre (METC nr NL66340.018.18, v3 June 2020). Findings will be presented on national and international conferences, peer-reviewed scientific journals, patient organisation meetings and public media. Patient representatives are fully integrated as part of the research team. If Tackle Your Tics proves to be effective, it can expand evidence-based treatment possibilities for children and adolescents with tic disorders. Identifying the psychosocial predictors/moderators for the effectiveness of this intervention can provide personalised treatment advice in the future. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NL8052.


Subject(s)
Implosive Therapy , Tic Disorders , Tics , Tourette Syndrome , Adolescent , Child , Humans , Quality of Life , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Tic Disorders/therapy , Tics/therapy , Tourette Syndrome/psychology , Tourette Syndrome/therapy
3.
Ideggyogy Sz ; 75(5-06): 211-216, 2022 May 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1918220

ABSTRACT

Background and purpose: Over the past year, many cases with newly onset or significantly exacerbated tic disorders were observed worldwide, where some aspects of the clinical presentation or the symptomatology were atypical for established tic diagnoses. Our purpose was to describe the atypical cases and raise relevant diagnostic issues. Methods: Consecutive cases with atypical tic presentations were documented. Results: Five atypical tic cases are described. These cases shared some common characteristics, most notably the fact that all of them had been exposed to online presentation of ticking behaviour on social media platforms prior to the de novo development or exacerbation of their tics. Even though the order of events suggests causality and therefore the diagnosis of a functional tic disorder, unambiguous criteria for classifying atypical tics as functional symptoms are lacking. Differentiating neurodevelopmental and functional tics in childhood is currently problematic. Conclusion: Based on the currently unresolved issues in differential diagnosis, the importance of watchful waiting and behavioural interventions is highlighted to avoid unwarranted pharmacotherapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Tic Disorders , Tics , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Tic Disorders/diagnosis , Tic Disorders/etiology , Tics/complications , Tics/etiology
4.
Brain ; 145(2): 476-480, 2022 04 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915527

ABSTRACT

We report the first outbreak of a new type of mass sociogenic illness that in contrast to all previously reported episodes is spread solely via social media. Accordingly, we suggest the more specific term 'mass social media-induced illness'. In Germany, the current outbreak of mass social media-induced illness is initiated by a 'virtual' index case, who is the second most successful YouTube creator in Germany and enjoys enormous popularity among young people. Affected teenagers present with similar or identical functional 'Tourette-like' behaviours, which can be clearly differentiated from tics in Tourette syndrome. Functional 'Tourette-like' symptoms can be regarded as the 'modern' form of the well-known motor variant of mass sociogenic illness. Moreover, they can be viewed as the 21st century expression of a culture-bound stress reaction of our post-modern society emphasizing the uniqueness of individuals and valuing their alleged exceptionality, thus promoting attention-seeking behaviours and aggravating the permanent identity crisis of modern man. We wish to raise awareness of the current global Tourette-like mass social media-induced illness outbreak. A large number of young people across different countries are affected, with considerable impact on health care systems and society as a whole, since spread via social media is no longer restricted to specific locations such as local communities or school environments spread via social media is no longer restricted to specific locations such as schools or towns.


Subject(s)
Tic Disorders , Tics , Tourette Syndrome , Adolescent , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Male , Severity of Illness Index
5.
JAMA Psychiatry ; 79(5): 475-485, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748793

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected adult mental health (MH), with racial and ethnic minoritized groups disproportionately affected. Objective: To examine changes in adult MH-related emergency department (ED) visits into the Delta variant pandemic period and identify changes and inequities in these visits before and during COVID-19 case surges. Design, Setting, and Participants: This epidemiologic cross-sectional study used National Syndromic Surveillance Program data from US adults aged 18 to 64 years from 1970 to 2352 ED facilities from January 1, 2019, to August 14, 2021. All MH-related ED visits and visits related to 10 disorders (ie, anxiety, depressive, bipolar, schizophrenia spectrum, trauma- and stressor-related, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, disruptive behavioral and impulse, obsessive-compulsive, eating, and tic disorders) were identified. Exposures: The following periods of MH-related ED visits were compared: (1) high Delta variant circulation (July 18-August 14, 2021) with a pre-Delta period (April 18-May 15, 2021), (2) after a COVID-19 case peak (February 14-March 13, 2021) with during a peak (December 27, 2020-January 23, 2021), and (3) the Delta period and the period after a COVID-19 case peak with the respective corresponding weeks during the prepandemic period. Main Outcomes and Measures: ED visits for 10 mental disorders and all MH-related visits. Results: This cross-sectional study included 107 761 319 ED visits among adults aged 18 to 64 years (59 870 475 [56%] women) from January 1, 2019, to August 14, 2021. There was stability in most MH-related ED visit counts between the Delta and pre-Delta periods (percentage change, -1.4% to -7.5%), except for eating disorders (-11.9%) and tic disorders (-19.8%) and after a COVID-19 case peak compared with during a peak (0.6%-7.4%). Most MH-related ED visit counts declined in the Delta period relative to the prepandemic period (-6.4% to -30.7%); there were fluctuations by disorder when comparing after a COVID-19 case peak with the corresponding prepandemic period (-15.4% to 11.3%). Accounting for ED visit volume, MH-related ED visits were a smaller proportion of visits in the Delta period compared with the pre-Delta period (visit ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.85-0.86) and prepandemic period (visit ratio, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.79-0.80). After a COVID-19 case peak, MH-related ED visits were a larger proportion of ED visits compared with during a peak (visit ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03-1.04) and the corresponding prepandemic period (visit ratio, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.11-1.12). Of the 2 510 744 ED visits included in the race and ethnicity analysis, 24 592 (1%) were American Indian or Alaska Native persons, 33 697 (1%) were Asian persons, 494 198 (20%) were Black persons, 389 740 (16%) were Hispanic persons, 5000 (0.2%) were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander persons, and 1 172 683 (47%) were White persons. There was between- and within-group variation in ED visits by race and ethnicity and increases in selected disorders after COVID-19 peaks for adults aged 18 to 24 years. Conclusions and Relevance: Results of this cross-sectional study suggest that EDs may have increases in MH-related visits after COVID-19 surges, specifically for young adults and individual racial and ethnic minoritized subpopulations. Public health practitioners should consider subpopulation-specific messaging and programmatic strategies that address differences in MH needs, particularly for those historically marginalized.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tic Disorders , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tic Disorders/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
Neurol Sci ; 43(6): 3497-3501, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739351

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures on young patients with tic disorders. Previous studies focused on clinician and parent ratings of tic severity, whereas the only international self-report data are available for adult populations. We present the first findings from a case-control study on children and adolescents with tics during lockdown in Italy. METHODS: We surveyed 49 patients aged 6-18 years and 245 matched controls with a newly developed questionnaire covering socio-demographic and clinical data, as well as lockdown-related changes to daily life activities. RESULTS: About half (53.2%) of the Italian school-age patients who took part in our survey experienced changes in tic severity during lockdown. Perceived increases in tic severity (29.8%) were reported more often than decreases (23.4%). Analogous trends were reported for perceived restlessness and, more significantly, irritability, whereas changes in pain symptoms were less common and were similar in both directions. The presence of tics was associated with increased difficulties with remote learning (p = 0.01), but decreased feelings of missing out on social interactions with schoolmates (p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported data on the impact of COVID-19 lockdown in school-age patients with tic disorders indicate perceived changes in tic severity, as well as restlessness and irritability, in about half of the cases. These findings could guide both clinicians and teachers in the implementation of targeted adjustments in the delivery of care and educational strategies, respectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tic Disorders , Tics , Adolescent , Adult , Case-Control Studies , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , Psychomotor Agitation , Self Report , Tic Disorders/epidemiology
7.
J Paediatr Child Health ; 58(7): 1181-1187, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731213

ABSTRACT

AIM: To report the prevalence and clinical characteristics of children with rapid onset functional tic-like behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Single centre, retrospective cohort study of children (<18 years) referred to the tic clinic from January 2018 to July 2021. We calculate the prevalence of newly diagnosed functional tics, and compare the clinical features to chronic tic disorder/Tourette syndrome (CTD/TS). RESULTS: A total of 185 new patients were referred to the tic clinic between 2018 and 2021. There was a significant increase in the percentage of functional tics in 2020 and 2021 (2% in 2018, 5.6% in 2019, 10.6% in 2020 and 36% in 2021). Differences between functional tics (n = 22) and CTD/TS (n = 163) include female predominance (100 vs. 28%, P < 0.0001), later age of onset (mean age 13.8 vs. 6.8 years, P < 0.0001) and higher rates of anxiety/depression (95 vs. 41%, P < 0.0001). The functional tic group were more likely to present with coprolalia-like behaviours (77 vs. 10%, P < 0.0001), complex phrases (45 vs. 0.6%, P < 0.0001), copropraxia (45 vs. 2%, P < 0.0001), self-injury (50 vs. 4%, P < 0.0001), hospitalisation/emergency visits (36 vs. 2%, P < 0.0001) and school absenteeism (56 vs. 7%, P < 0.0001). A total of 18.2% of patients with functional tics reported preceding exposure to social media content involving tics. CONCLUSIONS: There is an increase in adolescent females presenting with rapid onset functional tic-like behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic. We highlight differences in clinical features between the functional tic group and CTD/TS to aid diagnosis and management in the community. Based on our findings, we propose a mixed model of neuropsychiatric vulnerability and social media contagion in this group of adolescents with functional tics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tic Disorders , Tics , Tourette Syndrome , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Tic Disorders/diagnosis , Tic Disorders/epidemiology , Tic Disorders/therapy
8.
Pediatr Neurol ; 130: 14-20, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700054

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists worldwide have reported a marked increase in functional (conversion) disorders with tic-like behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. These patients often report frequent viewing of Tourette syndrome (TS) TikTok videos, suggesting disease modeling. We aimed to evaluate tic phenomenology in videos posted on TikTok. METHODS: The 100 most-viewed videos under #tourettes in TikTok were randomly assigned to two of three primary reviewers (<2 years independent practice), all pediatric neurologists specializing in movement disorders, for extraction and classification of tic phenomenology. Initial disagreements were solved by consensus. If not resolved, one of five senior reviewers (>2 years independent pediatric movement disorder practice) served as a tiebreaker. In addition, two primary and one senior reviewer rated each video on a Likert scale from 1 = "All the tics are typical of TS" to 5 = "None of the tics are typical of TS". Median scores and Spearman correlation between primary and senior reviewers were calculated. RESULTS: Six videos without tic-like behaviors were excluded. Most videos depicted coprophenomena (coprolalia: 53.2%; copropraxia: 20.2%), often with unusual characteristics. Frequently, videos demonstrated atypical phenomenology such as very strong influence by the environment (motor: 54.3%; phonic: 54.3%), aggression (19.1%), throwing objects (22.3%), self-injurious behaviors (27.7%), and long phrases (>3 words; 45.7%). Most videos portrayed atypical, nontic behaviors (median [IQR] Likert ratings: 5 [4-5]). Primary vs. senior rater scores demonstrated moderate agreement (r = 0.46; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: TS symptom portrayals on highly viewed TikTok videos are predominantly not representative or typical of TS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Tic Disorders , Tics , Tourette Syndrome , Child , Humans , Pandemics , Tic Disorders/diagnosis , Tic Disorders/epidemiology , Tourette Syndrome/epidemiology
10.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(11): 3805-3808, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320395

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Clinicians have reported an increase in functional tic-like behaviours in children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. We describe adults developing rapid onset of functional tic-like behaviours between May 2020 and June 2021. METHODS: Data were analysed from the Adult Tic Disorders Registry, a single-site,12-month prospective cohort study that began enrolment in January 2021. We compared clinical features of participants with Tourette syndrome or persistent motor/vocal tic disorder to participants with rapid onset tic-like behaviours. RESULTS: Thirty-three participants registered between January and June of 2021; nine had rapid onset tic-like behaviours, and 24 had Tourette syndrome or persistent motor tic disorder. Participants with rapid onset tic-like behaviours were younger (19.9 vs. 38.6 years, p = 0.003), had older age at onset (15.3 vs. 10.1, p = 0.0009), and were more likely female (p < 0.0001). They had higher motor and vocal tic severity and impairment scores (all p < 0.01) and were more likely to have complex arm/hand motor tics (p < 0.0001), complex vocal tics (p < 0.0001), and coprolalia (p = 0.004). They had significantly higher scores on all mental health symptom self-report measures (all p < 0.05) and were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with depression (p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: The clinical features that help differentiate rapid onset tic-like behaviours from Tourette syndrome or persistent motor tic disorder include their phenomenology, onset age, and clinical course. Rapid onset tic-like behaviours are a distinct subtype of functional neurological disorder that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic in young people and appears to be strongly socially influenced.


Subject(s)
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity , COVID-19 , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder , Tic Disorders , Tics , Tourette Syndrome , Adolescent , Aged , Child , Female , Humans , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tic Disorders/epidemiology , Tics/epidemiology , Tourette Syndrome/epidemiology , Young Adult
11.
Pharm Stat ; 20(3): 675-691, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086533

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has manifold impacts on clinical trials. In response, drug regulatory agencies and public health bodies have issued guidance on how to assess potential impacts on ongoing clinical trials and stress the importance of a risk-assessment as a pre-requisite for modifications to the clinical trial conduct. This article presents a simulation study to assess the impact on the power of an ongoing clinical trial without the need to unblind trial data and compromise trial integrity. In the context of the CANNA-TICS trial, investigating the effect of nabiximols on reducing the total tic score of the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS-TTS) in patients with chronic tic disorders and Tourette syndrome, the impact of the two COVID-19 related intercurrent events handled by a treatment policy strategy is investigated using a multiplicative and additive data generating model. The empirical power is examined for the analysis of the YGTSS-TTS as a continuous and dichotomized endpoint using analysis techniques adjusted and unadjusted for the occurrence of the intercurrent event. In the investigated scenarios, the simulation studies showed that substantial power losses are possible, potentially making sample size increases necessary to retain sufficient power. However, we were also able to identify scenarios with only limited loss of power. By adjusting for the occurrence of the intercurrent event, the power loss could be diminished to different degrees in most scenarios. In summary, the presented risk assessment approach may support decisions on trial modifications like sample size increases, while maintaining trial integrity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cannabidiol/therapeutic use , Computer Simulation , Dronabinol/therapeutic use , Mental Health , Physical Distancing , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Research Design , Tic Disorders/drug therapy , Tics/drug therapy , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/transmission , Cannabidiol/adverse effects , Data Interpretation, Statistical , Dronabinol/adverse effects , Drug Combinations , Endpoint Determination , Humans , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Research Design/statistics & numerical data , Sample Size , Severity of Illness Index , Tic Disorders/diagnosis , Tic Disorders/psychology , Tics/diagnosis , Tics/psychology , Time Factors , Tourette Syndrome/drug therapy , Tourette Syndrome/psychology , Treatment Outcome
12.
Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry ; 31(2): 275-287, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-959295

ABSTRACT

Practice guidelines endorse comprehensive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT) as first-line treatment for tic disorders (TD) in youth. Nevertheless, CBIT is rarely available due to various barriers. This study evaluated the feasibility and potential effectiveness of an Internet-based, self-help CBIT program (ICBIT) guided by parents with minimal therapist support delivered via telepsychotherapy. Forty-one youths, aged 7-18 years, were randomly assigned to receive either ICBIT (n = 25) or a wait-list (WL) condition (n = 16) in a crossover design. ICBIT was feasible to implement and at post-treatment, 64% of the participants have improved significantly. Results demonstrated clinically meaningful reductions in tic severity and improved youth global impairment and functioning. Gains were maintained over a 6-month follow-up period. The effect size for the primary outcome measure (Yale Global Tic Severity Scale) ranged between large effect size (Cohen"s d = 0.91) at post-intervention to very large effect size (Cohen's d = 2.25) 6 months after the end of the acute intervention. These were comparable to face-to-face delivery treatment trials for TD. Participants rated the intervention as highly acceptable and satisfactory. Youth receiving ICBIT experienced improvement in self-esteem and comorbidity. Finally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICBIT program enabled the delivery of the intervention consecutively without interruption. The results observed provide preliminary evidence of the feasibility and effectiveness of this innovative modality to assist youth with TD and remove various barriers to treatment, including those during a public crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Larger studies with an active control group are warranted.Trial registration URL: http://clinicaltrials.gov, ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04087616.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Tic Disorders , Tics , Adolescent , Child , Feasibility Studies , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Internet , Pandemics , Psychotherapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Tic Disorders/therapy , Treatment Outcome
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