What is Tourettesyndrome? A disorder characterized by recurring and involuntary movements or sounds called tics. There are two types of tics: motor and vocal. Motor tics are uncontrolled body movements and vocal tics are outbursts of sound. In 1886, a French physician named Gilles de la Tourrete discovered Tourette syndrome.
Other Names TS Tourettes syndrome Gilles de la Tourettes Syndrome (GTS)
Mode of Inheritance Scientists believe that tics may result from changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that are responsible for producing and controlling voluntary movements. Mutations involving the SLITRK1 gene on chromosome 13 have been identified in a small number of people with Tourette syndrome. Mutations have been reported in so few people with this condition that the association of the SLITRK1 gene has not been confirmed. Tourette’s may not even be a hereditary condition.
May Also Cause Deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) Anxiety Depression Mood swings Sleep problems
Rate of Incidence Precise incidence is unsure, but it approximately affects 1 to 10 in 1,000 children. It affects populations and ethnic groups globally. More common in males than in females.
Symptoms Tics can be simple or complex. Symptoms of simple motor tics: eye blinking, facial expressions expressing disgust, shoulder shrugging, and head jerking. Symptoms of simple vocal tics: repetitive throat- clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds. Symptoms of complex motor tics: facial grimacing preceded by head jerking and a shoulder shrug, sniffing or touching objects, jumping, bending, twisting, and punching a person’s face. Symptoms of complex vocal tics: coprolalia (saying profane words) and echolalia (repetition of words or phrases of other people).
Progression Tics usually appear in childhood. Experience peak tic severity before the mid-teen years with improvement in the late teen years and early adulthood. Disorder is generally lifelong. Not life threatening; normal life expectancy.
Treatment Most people do not need medication for tic suppression. If the person is suffering from severe TS, there are medications to help such as Neuroleptics (used to treat psychotic and non-psychotic disorders). i.e. blocks receptors such as dopamine. Other medications such as clonidine and guanfacine (used for treating hypertension). There is no medication that will eradicate all the symptoms.
Detection Diagnosis is made after verifying that the patient has had both motor and vocal tics for at least 1 year. Existence of other neurological or psychiatric conditions can also help doctors arrive at a diagnosis. There are no blood, laboratory, or imaging tests needed for diagnosis. In rare cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), and certain blood tests may be used to rule out other conditions that might be confused with TS.
Bibliography/References "Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet." : National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_to urette.htm>. "MedicineNet.com." MedicineNet. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <http://www.medicinenet.com/tourette_syndrome/arti cle.htm>. Board, A.D.A.M. Editorial. "Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors." Gilles De La Tourette Syndrome. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Nov. 0000. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH000 1744/>.