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Tourette's syndrome.

Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a chronic disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics and a variety of associated behaviour disorders. Because current therapy is often unsatisfactory, there is expanding interest in new therapeutic strategies that are more effective, cause less side effects and ameliorate not only tics but also behavioural problems. From anecdotal reports and preliminary controlled studies it is suggested that - at least in a subgroup of patients - cannabinoids are effective in the treatment of TS. While most patients report beneficial effects when smoking marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.), available clinical trials have been performed using oral Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In otherwise treatment-resistant TS patients, therefore, therapy with THC should not be left unattempted. To date, it is unknown whether other drugs that interact with the endocannabinoid receptor system might be more effective in the treatment of TS than smoked marijuana or pure THC. Since it has been suggested that abnormalities within the endocannabinoid receptor system might underlie TS pathophysiology, it would be of interest to investigate the effect of substances that for example bind more selectively to the central cannabinoid receptor or inhibit the uptake or the degradation of different endocannabinoids.

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