Session Time: 12:30pm-2:00pm
Objective: Investigating the real-time relationship between premonitory urges and tics as compared to the urge to blink in healthy controls and the urge to execute obsessions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Background: Premonitory sensations preceding tics are a cardinal feature in Tourette syndrome (GTS) but have also been reported to precede obsessions or compulsions in patients with OCD. The temporal relationship between tics/obsessions and urges has never been examined experimentally.
Methods: We investigated the temporal relationship between urge intensity and tics in 17 GTS patients, between urge intensity and obsessions in 16 OCD patients and between urge intensity and eye blinks in 16 healthy controls in a free ticcing/obsession/blinking condition and a tic/obsession/blink suppression condition. For this purpose, an assessment tool was developed that allows real-time monitoring and quantification of urge intensity.
Results: During free ticcing/obsession/blinking, both patient groups experienced more intense urges than healthy controls. Compared to free ticcing/obsessions/blinking, urge intensity was higher during the suppression condition in both patient groups and healthy controls. Urge intensity increased and decreased around tics within a time window of approximately 20 seconds, around obsessions in 60 seconds and around eye blinks in 10 seconds. Blink suppression had a similar effect on the urge distribution associated with eye blinks as tic suppression had on the urge to tic in GTS patients, whereas the urge associated with obsessions changed in a different manner under suppression.
Conclusions: These results corroborate the negative reinforcement model, which proposes that the execution of tics and obsessions is associated with a relief in urges, thereby perpetuating the behaviour. This study also documents similarities and differences between urges to act in healthy controls, urges associated with obsessions in patients with OCD and urges to tic in GTS patients.
Part of the data was presented at the Conference of the European Society for the Study of Tourette Syndrome (ESSTS) 2015.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:V.C. Brandt, C. Beck, J. Hermanns, T. Bäumer, B. Zurowski, S. Anders, A. Münchau. The temporal relationship between premonitory sensations and tics compared to obsessions [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2016; 31 (suppl 2). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/the-temporal-relationship-between-premonitory-sensations-and-tics-compared-to-obsessions/. Accessed March 5, 2024.
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