Tourettes Essay

1854 Words Nov 23rd, 2012 8 Pages
Tourette’s Syndrome

Tourette's syndrome, also called Tourette's disorder is named after the neurologist, Gilles de la Tourette. Sometimes it is referred to as GTS but more often it is simply called Tourette's or ‘TS’. It is an inherited neurological disorder marked by movement-based (motor) tics which are abrupt, repetitive, stereotyped, non-rhythmic movements, as well as vocal (verbal or phonic) tics which are involuntary sounds produced by moving air through the nose, mouth, or throat. Tourette's is defined as part of a spectrum of tic disorders, which includes transient and chronic tics. This disorder may appear in multiple family members, and often appears (co-morbid) with other behavioral disorders, in particular -
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Symptoms of the disorder can be seen in infancy but this is a rarity. As a rule, the symptoms may come and go and children show identifiable signs at round 7 years old (Hawley 2008), and before 18-21years old (Black 2007). Studies found the most onset was between 9-14 years of age (Leckman 2003, Black 2007). Another study showed that tics started below 18 years, but 5 relatives had an onset after the age of 21 years. Affected persons will “blink, jerk, grunt, clear their throats, swing their arms, grasp or clasp others, have obsessive-compulsive behaviors or use verbal expletives (coprolalia) uncontrollably” (Tabers 2001, 2207). In some cases, people suffering from Tourette’s can control the verbal expletives in public but they will express it vigorously once they are in private. Coprolalia, “the uncontrollable utterance of socially objectionable or taboo words or phrases” is the most popular symptom of Tourette's but it is not required for a diagnosis hence about 90% of patients afflicted with it only Tourette's does not have coprolalia. The most common, initially noticed motor tic is eye blinking and the vocal tic is repetitive throat clearing (Black 2007). The disorder often persists throughout the individual’s lifespan but severity peaks in adolescence and thereafter decreases

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