Strep throat does not worsen Tourette’s disease, may affect ADHD

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Strep throat does not appear to make Tourette’s syndrome and other chronic tics worse in young people, according to a new study.

But he found an association between strep infection and increased hyperactivity and impulsivity in children with ADHD.

People with chronic tics have unintentional repetitive movements and vocalizations. Previous research has suggested a link between strep and tic and behavioral disorders.

“The link between strep and tics in children is still the subject of intense debate,” said study author Dr. Davide Martino of the University of Calgary in Canada. “We wanted to look at this question, as well as a possible link between strep and behavioral symptoms like obsessive-compulsive disorder. [OCD] and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]. “

To study the possible connection, the researchers focused on group A strep, a type of bacteria that causes strep throat, impetigo, and various other infections.

The study included 715 children and adolescents with chronic tics, 91% of whom were diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome. Over 250 suffered from ADHD and 227 from obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Every four months, the researchers took throat swabs and blood samples from the children to look for strep bacteria. This was done for an average of 16 months.

At the start of the study, 59 children tested positive for strep bacteria. During the study, 103 children had further exposure to strep bacteria.

Of all the children, over 300 had worsening symptoms during the study, but there was no association between strep exposure and worsening tics or OCD symptoms.

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However, there was an association between strep exposure and an approximately 20% increase in ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, according to the study. The results were published on February 10 in the online issue of the journal. Neurology.

“Although our results suggest that strep is unlikely to be one of the main triggers for worsening tics, more research is needed for other possible explanations,” Martino said in a press release.

“For example, the social stress associated with this disorder might be involved in worsening tics more than infections. It is also possible that another pathogen is triggering an immune response associated with worsening tics,” he said. -he declares.


More information

The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on Tourette’s syndrome.

SOURCE: Neurology, press release, February 10, 2021

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