Tourette Syndrome

Shannon CAsh

Information and Cause

Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes people to have severe or minor motor and vocal tics. The cause of Tourette's is not fully known by doctors and scientists but research suggests that it is caused when nerves can't communicate properly with the brain. A disturbance in the balance of the neurotransmitters may play a role in TS. The first presentation of Tourette's syndrome is believed to be present in a book by Jakob Sprenger published in the late 15th century describing a priest whose 'tics' were believed to be from the possession of the devil.

It is believed that both genetic and environmental factors are involved in TS. It is also believed that Tourettes might be hereditary but no one is quite sure from which gene (parent) it is received from. A person that has the disorder has a 50% chance of passing it on to their children, but not all will show strong syptoms or show any symptons at all.

Symptoms and Treatment

First man to study Tourettes Syndrome, Georges Gilles de la Tourette

Symptoms of Tourettes is either simple or complex tics. Simple motor tics are brief, sudden, and repetitive movements that involve limited amounts of muscle groups. Some examples are eye twitching, vision irregularities, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Complex motor tics are distinct, coordinated patterns involving several muscle groups. They are more extreme like head jerking and shoulder jerking, have the urge to cuss and scream words, sniffing/touching objects, and grunting.

As of now there are no treatments for Tourettes and there is no medication that has been found to work for anyone. There are only therapy groups that help people to help learn and manage their tics. Yoga and meditation are highly recommended to calm your nerves and lessen the tics.

Scientists are still studying the disorder and learning what part of the brain it affects. They believe finding which gene it is hereditary from will be a big part in future treatment.


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