Tourette Syndrome and Human Behavior


David E. Comings, M.D.

ISBN# 1-878267-28-0
Publication Date: 1990
Paperback, 828pp


Tourette syndrome is a common, hereditary behavioral disorder that provides enormous insight into how we and our children behave and misbehave, why some of us can't read, learn, or pay attention, compulsively do things including over eating and abusing drugs, alcohol, spouses and children, are angry, short-tempered, anxious, afraid, depressed, or feel different and all alone. This book is written for both the general reader and the health or education professional as a guide to the exciting world of the genetics and chemistry of behavior.

This 828 page book is packed with information on all aspects of Tourette syndrome, the diagnosis; chapters on ADHD, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, conduct disorder, learning disorders and dyslexia, sexual problems, phobias, anxiety attacks, depression, mood swings, addictive behaviors (alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive eating with obesity), sleep and other problems; genetics; structure and chemistry of the brain, role of dopamine and serotonin in behavior; detailed chapters on all the medications used and their side effects; psychological treatment and school problems.


"The excitment of Tourette Syndrome and Human Behavior is a result not only of its insights into Tourette syndrome but of their relevance to our understanding human behavior and neuropsychiatric disturbance. The implications for the behavioral sciences and the practice of adult and child psychiatry are profound. This voume is highly recommended for all students of human behavior."
--Jeffrey Sverd, M.D.Director, Inpatient Psychiatry, Sagamore Children's Hosptal, Sagamore, N.Y.

"This book is remarkable in its scope and most importantly, well written and easily readable. It will be very useful to a wide variety of professionals including physicians, nurses, special educators, psychologists, patients and parents. I highly recommend it to persons interested in learning more about Tourette syndrome and human behavior in general.
-- Larry Burd, Ph.D.Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital, University of North Dakota

"A masterful production that should be read by every professional engaged in medical practice, psychiatry, nursing or special education....invaluable for patients and their families."
-- Health and Nutrition Review

"Best Healthbook of the Year"
-- North American Book Dealers Exchange

"A masterbook"
-- J. Lejuene Annuals Genetique


  1. The Spectrum of Tourette Syndrome
  2. Gilles de la Tourette
  3. The Diagnosis
  4. The Motor Tics
  5. The Vocal Tics
  6. The Swearing
  7. Characteristics of the Tics
  1. A Very Brief Course in Genetics
  2. Pedigrees
  3. Types of Inheritance
  4. The Genetics of Tourette Syndrome
  5. Are Girls Smarter than Boys?
  6. Linkage and DNA Markers
  1. What's Wrong with My Son?
  2. A Controlled Study of Tourette Syndrome
  3. Attention Deficit Disorder
  4. The Genetics of Attention Deficit Disorder
  5. ADHD Children Grown Up
  6. ADHD in Adults
  7. ADHD in Tourette Syndrome
  8. Learning Disorders and Dyslexia
  9. Obsessions, Compulsions, and Repetitive Actions
  10. Conduct - A Mother's Story
  11. Conduct
  12. The Genetics of Bad Conduct
  13. Sex and Exhibitionism
  14. Phobias
  15. Panic attacks
  16. Depression
  17. Mania and Manic Depressive Disorder
  18. Schizoid Behaviors
  19. The Symptoms and Genetics of Schizophrenia
  20. Autism
  21. Borderline Personality - Life on the Edge of Sanity
  22. Alcoholism - Born to Drink?
  23. Obesity - Born to Eat?
  24. Pathological Gambling
  25. Periodic Behaviors in Tourette Syndrome
  26. Bedwetting and Soiling - Enuresis and Encopresis
  27. Sleep Problems
  28. Excesive Drinking of Fluids - Polydipsia
  29. ADHD Secondary to a TS Gene
  30. Physical and Sexual Abuse
  31. Homozygotes, Selective Bias and Gene Selection
  32. Miscellaneous Features
  33. The Positive Features of Tourette Syndrome
  1. The Anatomy of the Brain
  2. Communication between Nerves-The Neurotransmitters
  3. The Limbic System
  4. Memory and Learning
  5. The Prefrontal Cortex and Frontal Lobe Syndromes
  6. Dopamine - The Regulator of Motor Activity
  7. Dopamine Receptors
  8. Dopamine and Human Behavior
  9. Dopamine and Animal Behavior
  10. Dopamine and the Frontal Lobes
  11. Dopamine and Tourette Syndrome
  12. Norepinephrine - The Modulator
  13. Serotonin - The Great Inhibitor
  14. Serotonin Receptors
  15. Serotonin and Human Behavior
  16. Serotonin and Animal Behavior
  17. Serotonin and Tourette Syndrome
  18. Is Tryptophan the Key?
  19. GABA - Another Great Inhibitor
  20. Opium, Opiates, and Endorphins
  21. Autism Again - Causes
  22. The Dance of the Neurotransmitters
  23. The Semidominant Inheritance of Tourette Syndrome
  24. Personality
  25. Pleasure and Addiction
  1. Pedigrees
  2. How Common is Tourette Syndrome?
  3. The Natural History of Tourette Syndrome
  4. Some Sample Pedigrees
  5. Chaos and Human Behavior
  6. Controlled Family Studies
  7. Why is the Diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome Often Missed?
  8. Will My Child Have Tourette Syndrome?
  9. Genetic versus Psychological Causes
  10. The Cortex and the Subcortex. The Superego and the Id
  11. Ethical Issues
  12. The Cloning of Tryptophan Oxygenase
  13. Closing the Logic Loop

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