Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder that is normally experienced in children at the age of two. Children with the disorder experience sudden involuntary movements or sounds, such as ‘coughing or twitching’ (Better Information, Better Health, 2012). It was first described by a French doctor, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, in 1885 and is sometimes referred to tic disorder.
Tourette’s syndrome is hereditary. It can also appear if pregnant mothers vomit too much in the early period of their pregnancies, have a lot of stress during pregnancy, smoke heavily or drink a lot of alcohol during pregnancy, have less oxygen supply during birth, or give birth to children with brain injury (Better Information, Better Health, 2012).
- Motor tics: Patients normally experience movements in the head and facial area. It can include blinking of eyes, stretching of the neck, jerking of the head, or shrugging of shoulders (World Education and Awareness for Movement Disorders, 2011).
- Vocal tics: Patients may experience vocal tics, which can range from simple clearing of the throat to more severe utterance of words (World Education and Awareness for Movement Disorders, 2011).
- Associated problems: Patients may also develop associated behaviors where they try to repeat certain actions such as washing of hands or touching objects.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A person should have experienced tics for more than one year to be diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome (Kids Health, 2012). Though there is no test to diagnose Tourette’s syndrome, neurologists usually examine patients physically after taking their medical history.
Treatment made to Tourette’s syndrome only help children cope with tics since it has no cure. Tics that are not severe can be left untreated while those that interfere with children’s social and education life are put under medication. Doctors always try to treat diseases that make tics severe in order to reduce their effects. Counseling and guidance also help patients cope with tics disorder better.