Premonitory urges and sensorimotor processing in Tourette syndrome

Sangeerthana Rajagopal, Stefano Seri, Andrea Eugenio Cavanna*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most patients with Tourette syndrome report characteristic sensory experiences (premonitory urges) associated with the expression of tic symptoms. Despite the central role of these experiences to the clinical phenomenology of Tourette syndrome, little is known about their underlying brain processes. In the present article we present the results of a systematic literature review of the published studies addressing the pathophysiological mechanisms of premonitory urges. We identified some preliminary evidence for specific alterations in sensorimotor processing at both cortical and subcortical levels. A better insight into the brain correlates of premonitory urges could lead to the identification of new targets to treat the sensory initiators of tics in patients with Tourette syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • pathophysiology
  • premonitory urges
  • sensori-motor processing
  • tics
  • Tourette syndrome


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