Understanding Tourette's Disorder

Tourette’s disorder is a neurological condition that is characterized by physical and vocal tics beyond the person’s control. This involuntary movement called tics, usually come and go. This condition is also sometimes called Tourette’s Syndrome or Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

Causes or Tourette disoder

The exact cause of Tourette’s disorder is still unknown although researchers believe that it involves both genetic and environmental factors. Genetic studies have shown that Tourette’s disorder can be genetically inherited about 50 percent chance of it being handed through subsequent generations.

Other possible causes of Tourette’s include excessive drinking of alcohol and coffee and smoking during pregnancy. Insufficient oxygen or blood supply during birth is said to also cause Tourette’s to develop in infants. Infants who are also born with lower birth weights as well as signs of brain injury may also likely to develop Tourette’s disorder.

Symptoms of Tourette disorder

The tics are those movements or sounds that happen involuntarily out of normal vocal and motor activity. These tics are the most common signs of Tourette’s disorder, although they can also be a symptom of a similar or related neurological disorder. The tics that occur can change in frequency, severity or affected area at most times.

Some of the tics associated with Tourette’s include slight eye twitching, neck jerks, coughing or throat clearing and a series of other involuntary movements involving the extremities and making sounds. There can also be bursts of either involuntary movements or sounds or even both that can last from just seconds to several minutes at a time. Some tics may also occur slowly.

The tics are also known to come and go, sometimes for a period of weeks and even months. They can occur frequently in one week and then gradually lessen in another. Some parents with kids having Tourette’s sometimes mistake it as their kids getting better and outgrowing unique habits.

How Tourette disorder is diagnosed?

Diagnosis for Tourette’s disorder is usually based on a person’s medical history and the symptoms being shown. A person can be diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome if he or she exhibits multiple motor and vocal tics although they do not need to occur at the same time. The said involuntary tics should be at least noticeable for a period of at least a year, with the patient experiencing tic-free events that occurring not more than three consecutive months.

How to prevent Tourette disorder?

Currently, there are no known means to prevent Tourette’s from developing. Although avoiding certain environmental factors may help lessen the risk, it is certainly not the means that will totally prevent the disorder from developing.

How to treat Tourette disorder?

Treatment for Tourette’s syndrome usually focuses in trying to help patients in managing the most troubling involuntary motor and vocal tics. Most of the symptoms associated with Tourette’s are generally mild and would not require the use of medication to cope up with.

On average, most Tourette’s cases are treated using psycho-behavioral therapy, education and with much social assurance and support. Currently, there is no known medication that would cure Tourette’s totally in different patients.


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