The basal ganglia portions of cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuits have consistently been implicated in the pathogenesis of Tourette syndrome, whereas motor and sensorimotor cortices in these circuits have been relatively overlooked. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we detected cortical thinning in frontal and parietal lobes in groups of Tourette syndrome children relative to controls. This thinning was most prominent in ventral portions of the sensory and motor homunculi that control the facial, orolingual and laryngeal musculature that is commonly involved in tic symptoms. Correlations of cortical thickness in sensorimotor regions with tic symptoms suggest that these brain regions are important in the pathogenesis of Tourette syndrome.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $18.75 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Albin, R.L. & Mink, J.W. Trends Neurosci. 29, 175–182 (2006).
Hyde, T.M. et al. Neurology 45, 1176–1182 (1995).
Peterson, B.S. et al. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 60, 415–424 (2003).
Fredericksen, K.A. et al. Neurology 58, 85–89 (2002).
Peterson, B.S. et al. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 58, 427–440 (2001).
Schieber, M.H. J. Neurophysiol. 86, 2125–2143 (2001).
Thompson, P.M. et al. Neuroimage 23 Suppl 1: S2–S18 (2004).
Sowell, E.R. et al. J. Neurosci. 24, 8223–8231 (2004).
Leckman, J.F. et al. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 28, 566–573 (1989).
Spessot, A. & Peterson, B.S. in Manual of Developmental Psychopathology (eds. D. Cichetti & D.J. Cohen) 436–469 (John Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2006).
Singer, H.S. & Minzer, K. Brain Dev. 25 Suppl 1: S70–S84 (2003).
Singer, H.S. et al. Neurology 43, 950–956 (1993).
Ziemann, U., Paulus, W. & Rothenberger, A. Am. J. Psychiatry 154, 1277–1284 (1997).
Kalanithi, P.S. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102, 13307–13312 (2005).
Wonders, C.P. & Anderson, S.A. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 7, 687–696 (2006).
The authors thank J. Leckman, R. King and L. Scahill for helping to refer participants to the study. Funding support for this work was provided by a US National Institute of Mental Health grant (K01 MH01733) to E.R.S., a US National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Center for Research Resources resource grant (P41 RR013642), NIH Roadmap for Medical Research grant (U54 RR021813) and US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant (NS3753) to A.W.T., NIH grants (AG016570, LM05639, EB01651 and RR019771) to P.M.T., and National Institute of Mental Health grants (MHK02-74677, MH59139 and MH068318) to B.S.P.
About this article
Cite this article
Sowell, E., Kan, E., Yoshii, J. et al. Thinning of sensorimotor cortices in children with Tourette syndrome. Nat Neurosci 11, 637–639 (2008) doi:10.1038/nn.2121
Biological Psychiatry (2019)
Experience during adolescence shapes brain development: From synapses and networks to normal and pathological behavior
Neurotoxicology and Teratology (2019)
Scientific Reports (2018)
Alterations in the microstructure of white matter in children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome measured using tract-based spatial statistics and probabilistic tractography
NeuroImage: Clinical (2018)