T = TOURETTE SYNDROME

TTourette Syndrome (TS) is considered a chronic condition that is first noticed in childhood and lasts a lifetime.  The worst symptoms usually are in their early teens and continues through late teens into adulthood.  It does seem to run in families, but the experts that ‘be’ do not agree on whether or not it is inherited.  TS has been thought to  stem from parts of the brain, especially the basal ganglia, where nerve cells and the chemicals carry messages to control body movements. Researchers continue to look for the cause of the problem.

Tourette Syndrome was first described by a French Neurologist, Dr, Georges Gilles de la Tourette in 1885.  It is defined as a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and sounds called tics. A tic is something like a twitch or a hiccup that is not planned or wanted. To be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, a person must have at least two tics that affect body movement and one that is a sound.  About 100,000 to 200,000 people in the United States have Tourette Syndrome.  It occurs in all ethnic groups, and three to four times more males are affected than females.

The child may frequently  have more than one tic at one time and they can continue for the entire day.  The one time the child seems to get some relief is when he/she is relaxing (listening to music), or concentrating (working on the computer)  It may not completely go away, but much less.  But under stress (studying for a test) or excited (a party or sports game) the tics usually get worse.  Over time the type of tic usually changes, and as the person is coming into adulthood, they become less frequent.  It is rare for an extreme case of Tourette’s to continue into adulthood.  Most children are on medications.  It is not unusual for the child to have other disorders, such as ADHD, or OCD.  It is important to identify and diagnose the condition and treat them appropriately.

There are two types of tics:

Motor Tics:

1.  Arm or head jerking

2.  Blinking

3.  Making a Face

4.  Mouth Twitching

5.  Shoulder Shrugging

Vocal Tics

1.  Barking and Yelping

2.  Clearing your throat or grunting

3.  Coughing or Sniffing

4.  Shouting or swearing

5.  Repeating what others say

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6 thoughts on “T = TOURETTE SYNDROME

  1. This is wonderful for you to be giving this kind of information to the general public. I taught a boy with tourette and his brother was the worst case of ocd/hyperactivity I have ever seen. The doctors determined one had too much of a certain chemical and the other didn’t have enough. The precious one with tourette wasn’t nearly as severe as the younger brother. Either way, it is certainly a challenge for the teachers as well as the parents for whom I have the greatest amount of admiration and compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

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