Tourette syndrome is a rare genetic neurological condition marked by recurring motor and phonic tics (involuntary muscle spasms and vocalizations). Males are three times as likely as females to have it.
Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who originally described the condition in 1885, is the name given to it. Based on contemporary descriptions of his facial tics and unusual vocalizations interrupting his normal speech, the English author Samuel Johnson may have suffered from a variant of the illness.
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Although the actual etiology of Tourette’s is unknown, it is commonly known that genetic and environmental variables play a role, research suggests that one or more chemical neurotransmitters in the brain may be faulty.
Tourette’s is highly heritable, according to genetic epidemiology studies, and is 10 to 100 times more likely to be found among close family members than in the general population. The exact route of inheritance is unknown; no single gene has been identified, and hundreds of genes are almost certainly involved.
In 2013 and 2015, no findings exceeded the threshold for significance in genome-wide association studies; in 2019, a meta-analysis showed only a single genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 13, but that result was not replicated in larger datasets.
According to twin studies, 50 to 77 percent of identical twins have TS, whereas only 10 to 23 percent of fraternal twins have it. However, not everyone with a genetic predisposition will have symptoms. Only a tiny number of instances in specific families have been linked to a few uncommon highly penetrant genetic variants (the SLITRK1, HDC, and CNTNAP2 genes).
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Tourette syndrome usually begins between the ages of two and fifteen and lasts throughout adulthood. In roughly 80% of cases, motor tics come before phonic tics. Milder forms of the condition may manifest either motor or phonic tics, but not both.
Two different symptoms of Tourette syndrome are echolalia (a compulsion to repeat words heard) and palilalia (spontaneous repetition of one’s own speech). Coprolalia, or the urge to scream obscenities, could also be present. Grunts, barks, hisses, whistles, and other meaningless sounds are among the additional vocalizations that may occur. Motor tics can be small, almost imperceptible movements. Hoping, clapping, winking, and fist-clenching are examples of more complicated tics that include the shoulders, head, and face. Intensive focus, sleep.
Grunts, barks, hisses, whistles, and other unrelated sounds may also be heard. Motor tics might be minor movements that go unnoticed. Hoping, clapping, winking, and fist gripping are some of the more sophisticated tics that involve the shoulders, head, and face. Stress exacerbates the symptoms, whereas sleep, concentrated concentration, and physical effort tend to decrease them.
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Tourette syndrome has no cure, though symptoms may improve with age. The most usually recommended drug for Tourette syndrome is haloperidol, however, pimozide, fluphenazine, clonazepam, and clonidine are also beneficial in lowering the frequency and intensity of tics.
It can also be treated through Behavioral Therapy.
A type of behavioral therapy known as “habit reversal” might help children learn to predict when a tic will occur and execute acts that are incompatible with the tic. Other psychotherapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can assist youngsters in learning to manage Tourette’s syndrome and any co-existing problems.
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Here are 5 facts about Tourette syndrome:
1. People with Tourette syndrome don’t usually scream profanities.
The most widespread misconception about Tourette syndrome, as depicted on television and in movies, is that people with the disorder scream obscenities or curse words. The truth is that most Tourette sufferers do not use incorrect language in an excessive or uncontrollable manner. Coprolalia is a symptom that affects roughly one out of every ten patients with Tourette syndrome. Coprolalia is a difficult tic to manage or suppress, and persons who experience it typically feel self-conscious about it.
2. Even if they try, people with Tourette syndrome are unable to control their tics (movement or sound).
It’s difficult to keep a tic under control. Tourette’s motor and vocal tics are involuntary, which means that people do not do them on purpose. Although the specific source of tics is unknown, many people describe the sensation of experiencing a tic as scratching or sneezing.
You can try to ignore the sensation, but soon you’ll scratch or sneeze and feel a bit better until the need returns. When people strive to control their tics, it can lead to stress, which can make the tic worse.
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3. You don’t have Tourette Syndrome just because you have a tic.
Tics are difficult to control or conceal noises (vocal tics) or motions (motor tics) are an element of Tourette syndrome, but there’s more to the story. It’s difficult to live with a tic. Tics can range from simple, transient tics that last a few weeks or months to a large number of complicated, long-lasting tics. Tics can be minor and barely detectable to severe and incapacitating. A person with Tourette syndrome has at least two movement tics and at least one verbal tic, and has had them for at least a year.
4. Tourette syndrome patients often have rich and satisfying lives.
True, some persons with Tourette syndrome face challenges throughout their life. It’s also true that many Tourette sufferers are extremely successful. They are frequently excellent achievers who discover that when they concentrate on a task, their tics become less acute or disappear. As they get older, they tend to have fewer tics. People with Tourette syndrome are successful in a variety of fields, including the arts, medicine, athletics, and other occupations.
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5. The CDC collaborates with researchers and the Tourette community to help people with the disorder and their families live better lives.
The CDC is collaborating with researchers to learn more about Tourette syndrome, how it affects people’s lives, and how we can improve public health initiatives to improve the lives and health of Tourette sufferers. The CDC also collaborates with the Tourette Association of America’s external symbol to provide health information and education programs on Tourette syndrome so that people with the disorder can receive the best treatment and support possible.