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Review: Physical exercise in Tourette syndrome – a systematic review

Reilly, C; Grant, M; Bennett, S; Murphy, T; Heyman, I; (2019) Review: Physical exercise in Tourette syndrome – a systematic review. Child and Adolescent Mental Health , 24 (1) pp. 3-11. 10.1111/camh.12263. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tourette syndrome (TS) is a common neuropsychiatric disorder which, in addition to the core symptoms of motor and vocal tics, includes a high association with co‐existing mental health disorders. Physical exercise is increasingly being recommended as part of management for children and young people with mental health problems. However, there is a lack of guidance regarding the role of physical exercise in the management of TS in children. METHODS: EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, SportDiscus, Google scholar and Cochrane register of controlled trials (CENTRAL) databases were searched. Studies investigating interventions aimed at reducing core symptoms of TS and comorbidities and exploring the relationship between physical exercise and tic severity were included. RESULTS: Seven studies were identified. Five focused on physical exercise interventions and two were observational studies investigating the relationship between tic severity and physical activity. There was some evidence indicating that physical exercise reduces tic severity in the short term and some evidence regarding the benefit of physical exercise on associated co‐occurring symptoms, such as anxiety. However, none of the intervention studies involved randomisation and interventions varied in terms of content and duration. CONCLUSIONS: There was some evidence of a short‐term improvement in tic expression as a result of physical exercise interventions, but there is a lack of methodologically robust studies. Thus, conclusions about the impact of exercise on TS symptoms or comorbidities cannot be drawn at this stage. There is a clear need for well‐designed methodologically robust studies, including prospective observational studies and randomised controlled designs.

Type: Article
Title: Review: Physical exercise in Tourette syndrome – a systematic review
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/camh.12263
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12263
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Tourette syndrome, exercise, physical activity, children, adolescence
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Developmental Neurosciences Prog
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Pop, Policy and Practice Prog
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10048081
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