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"What are the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome?


My daughter has been a little strange since birth, and sometimes she has really disruptive outbursts. I don't want to assume there's something wrong with her brain, but what should we look for if this is Tourette syndrome? What are the symptoms, and what is the best way to treat it?


Tourette Syndrome is a common inherited neurological disorder that starts in childhood, usually between the ages of 5 and 10 years. To make a diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome, a patient must have multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic, with a "tic" defined as a quick, sudden, recurrent, non-rhythmic motion or vocalization. Examples of common tics include eye blinking and throat clearing. Patients will also display these tics nearly every day, and often several times per day, for greater than one year. Tics most often affect the upper part of the body, including the face and neck, but can affect any part. Patients with Tourette Syndrome are commonly portrayed on television as having violent outbursts of verbal obscenities; in reality, it is thought that less than 10 percent of patients will be affected in this manner. Treatment of patients with Tourette Syndrome varies depending on the extent of symptoms, and can include relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medication. Children without Tourette Syndrome often display disruptive outbursts, and such behavior may not be indicative of any underlying disorder. To get more information, you should have a conversation with your daughter's pediatrician about her symptoms.

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