Tourettes Syndrome in Children

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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 - “obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)” (Hawley 2008). People with this disorder have normal life expectancy and intelligence, but symptoms can lead to decrease in normal activities (Walkup, Mink & Hollenbeck 2006). Tourette’s syndrome, as described in the psychiatric diagnostic tool DSM-IV-TR criteria is “associated with distress or social or functional impairment” (Hawley 2008). Onset and Diagnosis. The most common first sign to alert people to visit the doctor for a possible presence of Tourette’s is a facial tic such as “rapidly blinking eyes or twitches of the mouth” (NTSA 2009). Unintended, involuntary sounds such as throat clearing, shrugging or tics of the limbs may be initial signs but in certain case, although rare, the symptoms become abruptly with multiple symptoms of movements and sounds. Chronic tic disorder is diagnosed with the presence of single or multiple tics, and the presence of motor or phonic tics (but not both) which is present for a year or more. On the other hand, Tourette's which falls under the category of above is diagnosed when there are multiple motor tics occurring at the same time…...

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