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Tourette's Syndrome

Tourette's syndrome is one form of tic disorder. This is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements (motor tics) and vocalizations (phonic or vocal tics).

Tourette's Syndrome is a fairly common childhood-onset condition that may be associated with features of many other conditions. The disorder generally begins before the individual is 21 years old and is usually lifelong, with symptoms following a waxing and waning course.

The Tourette's syndrome disorder was named for a French neuropsychiatrist who successfully assessed the disorder in the late 1800s:

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by tics - involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly in the same way.

Diagnostic criteria of Tourette's Syndrome include:

Currently, there is no brain test or laboratory test to determine if someone has Tourette's. Generally, TS is diagnosed by obtaining a description of the tics and evaluating family history. For a diagnosis of TS to be made, both motor and phonic tics must be present for at least 1 year.

  • Periodic changes in the number, frequency, type and location of the tics, and in the waxing and waning of their severity. Symptoms can sometimes disappear for weeks or months at a time
  • The disturbance is not due to the direct physiologic effects of a substance (e.g., stimulants) or a general medical condition (e.g., Huntington's disease or postviral encephalitis).
  • Both multiple motor and one or more vocal tics present at some time, although not necessarily simultaneously
  • Onset before the age of 18
  • The occurrence of tics many times a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day or intermittently throughout the span of more than one year

What are the causes of Tourette's Syndrome?

Research is ongoing, but it is believed that an abnormal metabolism of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are involved with the disorder. It is genetically transmitted, parents having a 50% chance of passing the gene on to their children. Girls with the gene have a 70% chance of displaying symptoms, boys with the gene have a 99% chance of displaying symptoms.

For most of the 20th century, TS was considered a psychiatric disorder because of the voluntary suppressibility, stress-associated exacerbation, and bizarre forms of many of the tics. But because of the identification of many biological factors over the past 20 years, including the efficacy of pharmacologic therapy and the heritability of the disorder, TS has been reclassified as a neurological movement disorder.

This is a very distressing condition for people who have the disorder and for their families. What makes it worse is that there is little public awareness of the problem and people with TS are often assumed to be mentally ill or badly behaved. Neither of these things is true. Yet for most people with TS, seeing a film is out of the question, says Sue Cameron, who is president of the Tourette Syndrome Association of' Australia.

What can I do to help my child with Tourette's syndrome?

Learn about tics and Tourette's syndrome and explain them to people who regularly interact with your child, such as relatives, teachers and day care providers.

Understand that your child has very little control over tics caused by Tourette's syndrome. If you focus too much on the tics, they may get worse. In most cases, it's not helpful to encourage your child to try to stop a tic. Your child can hold back tics for a little while, but eventually the tics will come out.

Prognosis of Tourette's Syndrome

Many patients experience significant improvement in their late teens or early 20s. Most people with Tourette's syndrome get better as they mature. Some associated problems, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention problems, can persist into adulthood and require long-term treatment.

Facts and Tips about Tourette's Syndrome

  • Tourette's syndrome is also known as Gilles de la tourette syndrome and it is a neurological disorder.
  • Tourette's syndrome is found in beginning of childhood.
  • Symptoms of this syndrome are snatching of head, problem in visualization, face contarting, shrugging shoulder.
  • Dysfunction of neurotransmitters is the main source of this syndrome.
  • CT scan, MRI techniques and psychotherapies are helpful to cure tourette's syndrome.
  • Feed your children magnesium rich food for better results.
  • Parents should get aware of Tourette's syndrome.

Tourette's Syndrome - Overview

Symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome

Tourette's Syndrome Treatment

Picture of Tourette's Syndrome

Hi, 39 year old male with TS. Have been on a number of atypical neuroleptics (seroquel, etc.) for a couple of years. Recently started Abilify with good results so far. What are the risks and how common is it? My regular physician seemed dismissive and neurologist didn't offer much in the way of probabilities or risks other than a discription - drew

Hi, I found this site researching symptoms my bright 17 year old son has. I know he has TS and adhd, but the pedicatrician hasn't really diagosed TS, because my son never really tics there and some tics come with ADHD. He doesn't tell him everything and since he doesn't want meds, I don't push it. : ) Any advice from parents,students appreciated! Thank you. - glen

I have an almost 14 year old son that has been diagnosed as having "tics", I personally think it is Tourette's. He has been on meds for about 3 years now. The Clonidine has relieved most of the vocal tics but he still suffers from many motor tics. Any thoughts would be very much appreciated. I'm assuming that the hereditary link comes from me although I do not have any tics but do sometimes want things "perfect". But as far as I know, there is nobody else in the family w/Tourettes, Tics or OCD. My father has a niece with Bi-polar but that's all I know. Please any comments would be of help. Thanks. - Doris

I am hoping for 10-15 (but the more the merrier) adults with Tourette Syndrome to take a brief survey I have developed. The survey should take somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes to complete. This has been approved by my universities. --dio

Well Im one of 4 brothers, I am the youngest one and the only one with Tourette's Syndrome. 2 of us have ADD, the others are fine. I dont know if there have been any case studys done one this. You could always look or contact University of Michigain Hospital for more info. - Jo

I'll show your nice website to my friends--Gem

Thank for making this valuable information available to the public. - Svetlana

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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