Beneficial effects of imipramine on tourette's syndrome

Reuven Sandyk, Colin R. Bamford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (GTS) is a chronic neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by multiple involuntary motor and phonic tics associated with behavioural disturbances including obsessive-compulsive and aggressive behavior, depression and, rarely, psychosis. The relationship of GTS, presumed to be predominantly a dopammergic disorder, and depression, presumed to be a noradrenergic-serotoninergic deficiency state, is currently poorly understood. The reports published to date on the effects of tricylic antidepressants in GTS have been contradictory; while Messiha et al. (1976) used imipramine successfully in one GTS patient, Abuzzahab and Anderson (1973) and Fras (1978) on the other hand, found imipramine to exacerbate GTS symptoms and cautioned its usage in this syndrome. A more recent report suggested that imipramine is useful in GTS patients who exhibit symptoms of attention deficit disorder (Dillon et al., 1985). We report a patient with GTS whose depression and behaviour improved considerably when low-dose imipramine (Tofranil) was added to the regimen of anti-GTS medication. This report suggest that tricyclic antidepressants may be useful adjuncts in the management of GTS, and hints at norepinephrinergic and serotoninergic deficiencies as being components of the pathogenesis of the syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-29
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1988


  • Imipramine
  • Tourette's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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