Diseases

Tourette Syndrome

Neurological disease, Mental disorder, Developmental disorder

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neuro-psychiatric disorder, which is characterized by a combination of motor and vocal tics. A tic is an involuntary, rapid, uncontrolled and stereotyped movement or sound. The compulsion to perform the tic is often very difficult to manage. Tics vary from person to person. The condition is not curable.


Cause

The cause of TS is not exactly known. It is clear that a hereditary factor plays a role. It’s also known that it has to do with a disturbed transfer of information in the brains. The disease usually manifests itself in children between four and eleven years old.


Symptoms

A person who has Tourette syndrome is suffering from motor and vocal tics.

Examples of motor tics are:

Examples of vocal tics are:

The condition can be socially harmful, because it’s often thought that a person is deliberately behaving so strangely.


Diagnosis

Not everyone with a tic has Tourette syndrome. The diagnosis of this syndrome is made by a neurologist or psychiatrist if:

The tics are not the result of drug use or a medical condition.


Treatment

The treatment of Tourette syndrome is mainly aimed at reducing the symptoms. This is because the cause is not exactly known. Antipsychotic medicines can suppress the tics well. Unfortunately, these medicines have many side effects. Behavioral therapy may also help to reduce tics.

A method that possibly can be used for the treatment of TS is neurofeedback training. A lot of research is currently done into this method. The idea is that anyone can learn to control his or her brainwaves.


Prognosis

Tourette syndrome is not curable. The patient must learn to deal with it. Of course this is often very difficult, because the tics keep repeating themselves and sometimes can get worse.


Considerations

The patient can try by himself to somewhat suppress the tics:


Facts


Synonyms

Tourette's, Tourette's Disorder, Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (GTS)


See also

Stress

Drugs

Relaxation

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