What is Tourette Syndrome?
Tourette Syndrome Australia
People living with Tourette Syndrome usually display both motor and vocal tics. Eye blinking, head jerking or shrugging are typical motor tics while vocal ones include throat clearing, sniffing and grunting. Furthermore, involuntary swearing (coprolalia) affects some.
Tics often worsen under stress or illness, so getting diagnosed and treated may help your child manage his/her tics more effectively.
Tourette syndrome’s primary symptom is sudden, uncontrollable movements and sounds called tics that occur without warning and have no discernible meaning for their maker. Tics can range from motor (such as eye blinking or grimacing) or vocal tic behaviours such as throat clearing, grunting, and humming) to more complex combinations that combine both components; typically increasing during stress or anxiety and decreasing with concentration or relaxation.
Most people with Tourette syndrome have multiple motors and at least one vocal tic. While these tics can come and go, they usually stay present over time and tend to increase during times of stress or worry; they might even change types. Sometimes a tic can even make people hurt themselves or others.
One third of cases improve or disappear by early adulthood, but for another third they persist even as adults. Tics themselves are harmless; there’s no permanent solution available; but treatment can help manage symptoms effectively.
Your GP may refer you to specialists who can assess Tics Disorder (TS), such as neurologists and psychiatrists. They’ll use information you provided, along with observation of any related behaviours such as tics, to make their diagnosis. An MRI might also be recommended in order to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms; additionally, seeing a therapist can help develop coping methods and reduce Tics symptoms.
Tourette Syndrome Symptoms
Tics, short and brief movements and noises that cannot be controlled, are the hallmark of Tourette Disorder (TD). Tics often begin before age 18 and continue throughout life, becoming worse over time.
Some individuals with Tourette syndrome exhibit tics such as shouting swear words or repeating other people’s phrases – this is known as coprolalia and is most prevalent among children; however, not all cases of Tourette Disorder include coprolalia. Tics range in severity from mild to severe and may change over time. They often get worse when exhausted, anxious or excited but can improve when calm and focused.
Tourette syndrome symptoms can be very disruptive to daily activities, yet do not typically impact intelligence or learning capacity. If you or your child exhibit Tourette Syndrome symptoms it is important to seek medical help immediately – the UF Health neurology care team offers on-site appointments where tic disorders can be identified as well as further tests done to rule out other possible causes for them.
Each person living with Tourette Syndrome handles their symptoms differently, but by taking charge and finding support it’s possible to live well with this condition.
Causes of Tourette Syndrome
Tics may have an unknown cause, though research suggests it could be caused by changes to how brain cells communicate or an imbalance of neurotransmitters (chemicals that send nerve signals between cells). Tics may also sometimes occur as side effects from certain medications.
Tics typically appear during childhood or adolescence, with motor and vocal tics the two most prevalent types. Motor tics typically involve eye blinking, grimacing, shrugging and head jerking while vocal tics might include throat clearing, repeated sniffing or grunting. Individuals diagnosed with Tourette syndrome might even exhibit self-harming tics like hitting themselves on the head or neck.
Children with Tourette syndrome can sometimes manage their tics for short periods by focusing very hard on not doing them, but eventually the tension builds and they must release their tic as an escape mechanism – making conversation hard, paying attention in class difficult, leading to depression and anxiety, among other outcomes.
Many kids with Tourette Syndrome find their tics lessen or even disappear by adulthood if they engage in activities requiring concentration, such as sports, hobbies or creative endeavours. Engaging in community work might also prove useful; meeting other people and sharing feelings helps build connections – many people with Tourette’s claim being more understanding towards others’ issues than without it!
Frequently Asked Questions
How common is Tourette's syndrome in Australia?
Tourette syndrome (TS) is an inherited neurological condition that manifests as involuntary sounds and movements (tics). It typically appears before age 18, with boys three to four times more likely than girls being affected. Over time, symptoms can come and go; some individuals have no tics at all while others experience severe ones that interfere with daily living.
Tics may range from eye blinking and head jerking, throat clearing, sniffing, grunting, squealing, tongue clicking and even blurting out profane words. Other vocal and motor tics include coprolalia (repeating the last word, phrase or syllable heard), echolalia (repeating sound/word/phrase heard backward) or even humming.
People living with Tourette Syndrome may go through periods of remission in which their tics subside or disappear for several months, with symptoms usually becoming less bothersome with age and most having no remaining symptoms by their late teens/early twenties.
Tics can usually be controlled through medication, which helps to decrease both their frequency and intensity. Common examples include neuroleptics which block dopamine in the brain; or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or antihypertensives which stimulate alpha-2-adrenergic systems – including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or antihypertensives; although behavioural therapy and psychotherapy may also help.
Many individuals living with Tourette Syndrome also suffer from additional conditions like ADHD/OCD which require treatment with stimulants or antidepressants to keep symptoms under control.
How is Tourette's diagnosed in Australia?
Tourette’s syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, most often beginning during early childhood or adolescence. It’s marked by multiple movement-based (motor) tics and at least one vocal (vocal) tic such as throat clearing or swearing; simple forms include blinking or throat clearing while complex ones include jumping, spinning around or compulsively touching things – these impulses may come before premonitory urges that can be suppressed for short periods but typically return later; intensity levels, locations and frequencies can all vary considerably; before, misinterpretations of these neurological conditions was often misinterpreted as mental illness rather than neurological conditions;
Although there’s no cure, many people with Tourette Syndrome find their symptoms improve with age or when reaching adulthood; sometimes the symptoms completely vanish altogether. People living with Tourette can struggle at school, work and social settings when exposed to others; this may cause depression and anxiety as well as self-harming behaviours like lip and cheek biting, head banging and body twitching.
If your child displays signs of tic, contact their primary care doctor or family health team as soon as possible. A neurologist, an expert in brain and nervous system disorders, may refer you to one for further testing for Tourette’s syndrome through various tests and scans; in severe cases that do not respond to CBIT therapy, deep brain stimulation may also be an option.
Is Tourette's considered a disability in Australia?
Tourette’s syndrome symptoms typically involve repeated involuntary movements or sounds known as tics that are either simple or complex; complex ones often include jumping, spinning in circles and compulsively touching things – or can involve speaking and repeating words (coprolalia).
Some children develop out of their tics as they age; however, for others who find them hard to manage or control into adulthood. Diagnosing Tourette’s syndrome (TS) is key in understanding and treating it effectively; symptoms can be diagnosed by either their general practitioner (GP) or specialist physician called neurologist; medications and therapies including behavioural therapy techniques or relaxation exercises like biofeedback may help TS as a whole; in extreme and debilitating cases deep brain stimulation might provide help as an additional therapy option.
Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia provides great resources on this matter, while talking with children at school about Tourette’s and explaining that it’s not their fault can help them feel more accepted by peers.
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- Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia; Online resource; https://tourette.org.au/
- Life’s a Twitch Online resource http://www.lifesatwitch.com/
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