Tourette Syndrome

By Daniel Simek

What is Tourette Syndrome?

Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome (also known as TS or Tourettes) is a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system. People usually develop the disorder between ages five to nine and usually lasts for life. People with Tourettes experience twitches or movements known as ticks. Ticks can range from bodily movements to blurting out random words. There is currently no cure for Tourettes but the symptoms are treatable.

What body systems are affected by Tourettes?

Although Tourette Syndrome may seem like it affects the muscular system, it actually affects the nervous system (the system that controls movement). Tics happen uncontrollably like breathing or blinking so one with Tourettes has to tic.

How are people with Tourette Syndrome different?

Normally people are easily able to sit still and remain quiet for extended periods of time. One can control what they say and how and when they move but put Tourettes in the picture and that will change. People with Tourette Syndrome Tic every so often. Sitting still and remaining calm becomes a challenge. They will probably have to tic depending on how long they are sitting.

Who is affected by Tourettes?

Tourette Syndrome effects about 3 out of every 1,000 people and is 3 times more common in boys than girls. Anyone can develop Tourette's and those who do develop it between ages 5 to 9 with symptoms most prominent ages 10 to 15.
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Why do people develop Tourette Syndrome?

There is currently no cure for Tourette syndrome. Scientist suggest that premature birth and genetics may play a role in development.

How is Tourettes diagnosed?

Tourette Syndrome is usually self diagnosable with very prominent symptoms. The person being diagnosed has to be off any medication to make sure it is Tourettes.

What are the signs and symptoms of Tourette Syndrome

Signs and symptoms of Tourettes can be put into two different categories, vocal tics (noises) and motor tics (movements).

Motor Tics include:

  • Mouth twitching
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Jumping
  • Head jerking
  • Sniffing
  • Grimacing

Vocal tics include:

  • Yelling random words
  • Barking
  • Snarling
  • Tongue clicking
  • Coughing
  • Snorting

What is the Treatment for Tourettes?

There is currently no cure for Tourette Syndrome but the symptoms are mostly treatable.
Living with Tourette Syndrome

What is the prognosis for Tourette Syndrome?

People with Tourettes can live nice long lives with no life threatening side effects. The symptoms may decrease mostly from age 20 and on. Tourette Syndrome doesn't impair intelligence either.

What connections do I have with Tourettes?

I don't personally know anyone with this disability but I did find that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart suffered from Tourettes. I chose to research Tourette Syndrome because I found it very interesting and I did't know much about it.