Tourette Syndrome

In some cases, the nervous system will have problems with controlling different actions of the body and this often results in repeated and sudden movements of certain parts of the body. It can even involve making some sounds or moving some parts of the body without control for a small duration. You can notice this condition usually in kids and the condition improves on its own after teenage. While some people blink their eyes or utter some random sounds involuntarily during this attack. It does not last for a long duration and it also does not cause any serious health problems in most cases. However, it can become embarrassing and give the appearance of a mental health problem. For this reason, you should be aware of the symptoms in children and provide suitable treatment to control the symptoms. While the exact cause of this condition is not yet established, it is said that genetics plays some role and you are likely to develop this condition when someone in the family has this problem. In general terms, this condition is also called tics.

Symptoms of Tourette Syndrome

-  The most obvious symptom of this condition is tics and this involves sudden and repeated movements of body parts or making some sounds. It, however, lasts only for a few minutes and it becomes very difficult to control the urge to move the body in that manner. It can be compared to an itch and people experience relief once they get over the tics.

-  The simple tics that involve movement include making movements with the mouth or twitching the nose repeatedly for a few seconds. Some children also blink their eyes without any control for some duration when they experience this condition. It is also common to notice shoulder shrugging or jerking of the head during this condition.

-  The simple tics can also involve making some repeated sounds and they are called vocal tics. This usually involves grunting suddenly for a few seconds without any reason or coughing uncontrollably without any trigger. Some children also clear the throat repeatedly during this condition or even bark for a few seconds without any control.

-  The tics can also be complex and some people even repeat a few words or phrases during this stage. In extreme cases, they may even resort to using obscene language without their control for a brief period.

-  The complex tics that involve movement include touching some object repeatedly without control or walking in a particularly funny manner. Some kids also begin hopping without control during this phase or twist their body in a particular manner.

-  These symptoms typically change in their intensity and some people with mild tics do not even need any sort of treatment. However, in other cases, the symptoms can be wild and it can appear frequently leading to an embarrassing situation. It can also appear during sleep and this becomes difficult to identify in many cases.

-  The symptoms usually become more obvious when they are stressed physically or emotionally. For this reason, it is advised to reduce stress levels in kids suffering from such conditions. Typically, you can notice that the symptoms begin to ease out as they grow old and it rarely affects adults.

Causes of Tourette Syndrome

The exact cause of this condition is not yet determined and it is said to be due to genetic and other factors. It happens when the nerves that are responsible for transferring information get affected due to chemicals in the brain. It is also said that certain hormones in the brain play a major role in leading to this condition. You should be very careful about the mental health of your children when someone in your family has this condition. Other than that, this condition is also likely to affect men more than women due to unknown reasons. Whenever you notice such symptoms, make a note of them as this will be useful when you visit the doctor for a detailed checkup. You should also notice how often it gets triggered and how severe it is when it begins showing symptoms in the body.

Diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome

The diagnosis of this condition is based solely on the symptoms of this condition and other tests are not effective when it comes to determining this condition. For this reason, you should be careful about noticing the symptoms in your children and see how often it affects them during the entire day. Other than that, you should also notice if the condition affects them every day or it only comes once in a while. If there are any conditions that are triggering tics in your children, you must note them down and mention all the details to your doctor. This will help them to clearly understand the situation and they will be able to provide suitable treatment depending on the intensity of the problem. In some cases, it can also be caused due to certain medication and you should note them carefully and seek alternative medication for your children.

Prevention of Tourette Syndrome

There is no known way in which you can prevent this condition as the cause of this condition is not yet known. For this reason, you should not worry too much unless you notice obvious symptoms about this condition in your children. If you already have some family member suffering from this condition, you should be extra careful as this condition can be caused by genetics in some cases. Apart from that, you should seek medical help even when the symptoms are not too harsh as this can become more in the future. Other than that, you must ensure that you provide confidence to your children and educate them about the condition. This will help them to deal with the situation in a better way and they will not lose their confidence and go into depression due to this condition.

Treatment for Tourette Syndrome

-  When it comes to providing treatment for this condition, you should be aware of a few things. The first thing is that there is no cure for this condition and you will have to work towards reducing the symptoms in future. The next thing is that there is no need for any treatment in most cases when the symptoms are very mild in nature.

-  When the symptoms are noticed only in one particular region of the body, giving Botox injections can provide relief from the symptoms in the future. However, this may have some side effects in the long run and you must be aware of them before choosing such treatment methods.

-  It is also known that the hormone dopamine plays a major role in triggering this condition in many individuals. For this reason, a medication that can block dopamine or reduce its effect will be suitable to treat this condition in a few cases.

-  Before choosing the appropriate treatment method, your doctor will analyze the symptoms and provide suitable medication. When the symptoms are close to ADHD, a medication that can increase the concentration will be suitable and this will give relief from the condition.

-  In some cases, a medication used to control depression will also be beneficial to treat this condition. Remember that this condition can also cause OCD and anxiety and antidepressants will be useful to control them in the long run.

-  In extreme cases when the condition is causing seizures in patients, medication is given to control the seizures and this will further reduce the symptoms of this condition.

-  Along with all these options, it is also important to provide psychotherapy and behaviour therapy to children who are affected by this condition. This will help them to monitor the symptoms and they can learn methods to avoid them in the future. Apart from that, it will also give them the confidence to lead a normal life with this condition and this will ensure that their social life will not get affected in any manner due to the condition.

Complications of Tourette Syndrome

-  People suffering from this condition often develop OCD in extreme cases and this can hamper the everyday social life.

-  In the same manner, children also have difficulties in learning due to this condition as this often leads to attention problems and the mind tends to become hyperactive without any control.

-  You can also notice symptoms of autism spectrum disorder in children suffering from this condition. This can often lead to permanent behavioural changes in many cases. For this reason, you need to be watchful about the symptoms of this condition and provide suitable treatment at the right time.

-  It is also common for children to face sleeping problems as this condition impacts the nervous system and reduces its ability to calm down.

-  This can also lead to anxiety problems and it affects the overall social behaviour of children.

-  It can also lead to frequent headaches and this causes pain. You need to learn different ways to relax as depending on medication to treat pain can cause other side effects in the long run.

-  In extreme cases, children also suffer from anger issues and they will have problems at school and social life due to this condition.

-  Due to all these problems, children may not be able to enjoy their usual activities with friends and this can push them into depression. It can cause a lot of complications later in life when you have such a condition for many years. Parents need to be aware of the symptoms and provide suitable care whenever needed to reduce the symptoms.

-  When children lose confidence due to this issue, it can affect their future development and cause behavioural problems at a later stage in life.

Myths about Tourette Syndrome

Myth #1: Tourette syndrome patients are mentally challenged :

While externally some of the symptoms of this condition give a general appearance of mentally challenged people to the public, this condition is not so and it is just a neurological disorder. In fact, this condition does not affect the patients all the time and it only comes once in a while and even then, it lasts only for a few seconds or few minutes depending on the intensity of the problem.

Myth #2: It goes away after teenage :

While it is true that it goes away on its own after teenage, it can continue to affect the person throughout the life in rare cases. For this reason, you should never ignore the symptoms at a later stage and make sure that you keep in touch with your doctor to discuss the problem even after it is completely gone.

Myth #3: It is due to psychological trauma :

In olden days, this problem was confused with psychological issues and it was considered the major cause for this condition. However, it is now clear that this condition is due to neurological problems in the brain and psychological trauma or stress can only trigger them in some cases.

Myth #4: Patients cannot play professional sports :

There is no connection between being involved in active sports and having this condition. Patients suffering from this condition can easily play sports activities as the condition affects them only once in a while and not on a regular basis. In most cases, they can easily lead a normal life without worrying about the condition.


The ultimate thing you need to understand about this condition is that it is not too serious in most cases and there is no need for any treatment when the symptoms are very mild. Only when they start interfering in everyday activities, you need to seek medical treatment to control the symptoms. Even at this stage, remember that this condition cannot be cured and only symptoms can be controlled in the long run. However, the good thing about this condition is that it does not progress like other conditions and it slows down as children enter adulthood in most cases. Only in rare cases, this condition can be seen in adults. Apart from providing suitable medication to control the symptoms, it is also necessary to avoid the stress of any kind as this can trigger the condition and lead to several complications. You can also consider psychotherapy as this helps to deal with the situation in a better way.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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