What is Tourette’s syndrome?
Tourettes syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary repetitive movements or sounds called tics.
For example, a person with Tourettes may blink their eyes repeatedly.
As per the research, 1% of school-going children and adolescents suffer from Tourette’s syndrome.
French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot named Tourettes syndrome.
What are the causes of Tourettes syndrome?
There is no exact cause for Tourettes syndrome. However, Tourette’s syndrome is associated with various parts of the brain, including the basal ganglia.
The basal ganglia control body movements.
Any difference in the brain circuit has a role in Tourettes syndrome.
People with a family history of Tourettes syndrome and environmental factors have a higher risk of getting Tourettes syndrome.
What are the symptoms of Tourettes syndrome?
The primary symptom is tics. Few are mild and not even noticeable.
Tics are triggered by stress, excitement, or being weak and tired. And even may worsen the conditions.
There are two kinds of tics.
Motor tics: Motor tics involve movements like
- Jerking of arm or head
- Blinking eyes
- Twitching mouth
- Shrugging shoulder
Vocal tics: Vocal tics include
- Clearing throat
- Repeating the words said by someone else
Tics can be simple or complex. Simple tics affect one body part or are negligible. At the same time, complex tics affect many body parts or saying words, swearing, and jumping.
Nearly half of the people with Tourettes also suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The person may have difficulty paying attention, sitting quietly, and completing tasks.
Tourettes affects people with
- Dyslexia, people with learning disabilities
- In obsessive-compulsive disorder, you will not be able to control your thoughts and behaviors, like washing your hands repeatedly.
Onset and progress
Onset may occur before eighteen, but the typical age of onset is from five to seven, most likely before adolescence.
The severity of the condition increases to peak between eight to eleven years of age. As the child grows, symptoms will reduce slowly.
Diagnosis of Tourette
The Healthcare provider diagnoses the condition after going through the medical history; the Healthcare provider asks questions detailly regarding tics.
There is no blood test or imaging exam to diagnose the condition.
Some of the questions may be like
- How frequently do the tics appear?
- At what age tics started?
- What is the nature of tics?
Management and Treatment for Tourette syndrome
Mild tics, which don’t cause any disturbance in day-to-day activities, are negligible. However, severe tics may lead to self-inquiry and causes difficulty at work, school, or any social situation.
In this condition, medication is necessary; behavioral therapy will help the person.
Besides medication and behavioral therapy, you must follow these steps to improve.
Get support: your family member, friends, or healthcare person will help you to overcome the challenge faced by a person with Tourettes.
Involving yourself in drawing, painting, music, and sports will help you keep your mind away from the symptoms.
Relax: reading books, listening to music, meditating, or doing yoga will help you to relax.