Tourette Syndrome

Biology genetic disease project

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The Study Of Tourette syndrome

I chose the Tourette syndrome to study. The reason behind why I chose to research and look into this syndrome is because I have heard of it many times but didn't know exactly everything about it. I am curious to learn about it and also I have known and been around a few people who have this disease.
What is Tourette Syndrome?

A deeper look into this disease

In this disease a person's body will start to have a thing called a tic. A tic is like a twitch. Its an unwanted movement or sound that a person with this disease will make involuntary. A tic is an urge that takes over your body and you do it even if you don't mean to. Usually Tourette syndrome affects your central nervous system and because of tics it can affect any part of your body.

Symptoms of Tourette syndrome

Some symptoms of this involve tics mostly but there are many different kinds of tics. There are vocal tics which include barking or yelping, clearing your throat, coughing, grunting, repeating what someone else says, shouting, sniffing, and swearing. There are also another kind of tic called a motor tic which includes arm or head jerking, making a face, shoulder shrugging, mouth twitching, and blinking. There are simple and complex tics where simple may be just a tongue sticking out or an eye darting while complex could get to obscene gestures and even flapping of the arms. Simple tics are sudden brief and repetitive and involve one muscle group while complex tics are coordinated muscle patterns including several muscle groups. Some more symptoms are hopping, finger flexing, hiccuping, touching your nose and other people, smelling objects, and using different tones of voices. These symptoms may vary, worsen, happen in sleep, or evolve into a new symptom as you get older.


Experts do not know exactly of what causes this disease but signs point to some things like the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia is specialized brain cells that are deep in the brain. Basal means the basement of the brain. The basal ganglia is responsible for emotion, learning, and involuntary movements. MRI scans have made known that the basal ganglia is abnormal in Tourette patients. These abnormalities cause imbalance in brain neurotransmitter levels. These neurotransmitters are messengers that transmit data between brain cells. Normal brain functions may be disrupted by abnormal neurotransmitter levels which results in tics. Childhood infection has been recently brought up as a cause but is not as far as the other theory is and many experts do not accept of this theory. Brain researchers have confirmed that a rare genetic mutation can cause some cases of Tourette syndrome but it is very rare. Other factors are that this disease might be inherited. Earlier research said it was from one damaged gene while recent research states it more complex then that and may involve many smaller gene effects to contribute to this disease. Some forms of ADHD and OCD are genetically related to Tourette syndrome and many people have one of the other and Tourette syndrome or even both and Tourette syndrome. Many people even some celebrities are known for having Tourette syndrome and also in some cases having OCD or ADHD also. So although there is much research about the causes there are no exact pin point things although all these have good reasons behind them and they all might just have a part in contributing to this disease.
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How it is inherited

This disease is not sex linked it is an autosomal disorder diagnosed by an alteration in the general makeup of chromosomes. This disease is known to be an autosomal dominant pattern. Tourette syndrome is spread around many different chromosomes.
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Treatment for this disease varies depending on how bad you have it. Sometimes a person with Tourette syndrome will take behavioral therapy while in other cases they will take medicine. The medicine they will most likely take would be alpha2-adrenergic agonist, dopamine antagonist, and muscle relaxants. Therapy is used for mild cases. Habit reversal is a type of behavioral therapy. When this disease is too severe then a combination of therapy and medicine are recommended. Although it is very rare surgery is an option in extremely severe cases but it is very rare.


To be diagnosed with this there are several things. A child must have several tics, multiple motor tics, and at least one vocal tic. You must have had these tics for at least one year and be under the age 18. There are no specific blood or laboratory test needed to diagnose this disease but it is not uncommon to have MRI, CT, EEG scans, and also some blood test to make sure it is Tourette syndrome and not another disease, so by doing this they rule out other conditions that might be confused with Tourette syndrome. Genetic counseling is possible for some individuals but should include full review of all potentially heredity conditions in the family.

Population Effects

Tourette syndrome usually occurs with boys more than it does with girls. Tourette syndrome develops while your young up to age 18. While some get over it some still have it in their older age. Although not certain it is estimated that 1 to 10 in a 1000 children are diagnosed with this disease. Tourette syndrome is a worldwide thing and occurs in population and ethnic groups everywhere of all kinds.
Tourette Syndrome: Up Close and Personal Documentary

What I discovered

In my research I have discovered many new things and have expunded upon what I had formerly known. For instance I found out there are many tics and they are categorized into their own sections. I learned that it happens in childhood and that it happens most with males. One thing that stuck out to me was that during the research I found out which stuff was exaggerated upon on the disease and what was not. What I mean by that is for example many people say cussing is huge and happens for everyone with this disease but it only affects certain people with Tourette syndrome. I discovered that having OCD and ADHD with Tourette syndrome is a common and not rare possibility. I found out many things by researching this disease and am glad I researched this because I have learned more about this then I had known before.