Monday, November 4, 2019

Tourette syndrome: Definition and symptoms

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. Tourette syndrome is a complex disorder, which has a significant impact on the quality of life of both the patients and his/her family.

It is a disease which has its onset during childhood and/or adolescence and is often life-long. The disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, the pioneering French neurologist who in 1885 first described the condition in an 86-year-old French noblewoman.

Tics are sudden twitches, movements, or sounds that people do repeatedly. People who have tics cannot stop their body from doing these things. Having tics is a little bit like having hiccups. Even though you might not want to hiccup, your body does it anyway. Sometimes people can stop themselves from doing a certain tic for a while, but it’s hard.

Tourette syndrome is clinically characterized by simple and/or complex motor tics and simple or complex vocal tics which cause marked distress or significant impairment in social or other important areas of functioning.

Simple motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements that involve a limited number of muscle groups. Simple tics include eye blinking and other eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking.

Complex tics are distinct, coordinated patterns of movements involving several muscle groups. Complex motor tics might include facial grimacing combined with a head twist and a shoulder shrug.

Tic symptoms usually begin when a child is 5 to 10 years of age. The first symptoms often are motor tics that occur in the head and neck area. Tics usually are worse during times that are stressful or exciting. They tend to improve when a person is calm or focused on an activity.

The average age at which the first episode of motor tics occurs is 4–6 years. Tourette syndrome is more common in boys than in girls with a prevalence of 3–4:1.
Tourette syndrome: Definition and symptoms

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