Tourette Syndrome

Characteristics: repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics.

Tourettes can effect anyone and early symptoms occur at childhood. Although it is possible to surpress
the tics, most people sufferring from TS are affected by if their whole life and it tends to be the most severe during teen years.

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  • Causes of Tourettes is still unknown but it is assumed that is caused by an abnormal gene that affects the way the brain uses Neurotransmitters.
  • Symptoms for TS are classified at simple or complex.Simple Tics - excess of eye blinking / irregularities in vision, facial grimacing, shoulder or head jerking, grunting sounds or repetitive throat clearing.
Complex Tics- facial grimacing with combination of shoulder shrugging head twisting, touching or sniffing objects, jumping,twisting and bending, shouting and swearing.

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Here is a video showing people sufferring with TS

Is there a cure?
As far as we know, there is no cure for TS, however, there is some medication and therapies that can be taken to reduce/ control the tics.

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Prognosis: People with TS can live a very full life. The majority of people with TS will actually have improvement of the symptoms by early adulthood.

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Tourette's not only affects the person with the syndrome, but also the people around them. The jerking may make it uncomfortable for the family and surrounding people to watch, and, in the case of Tourette's patients that
display Coprolalia (involuntary swearing), it may make the people of the public
that are unaware of the patient's illness, be highly offended.

Tourette Syndrome cannot be prevented and therefore are no lifestyle choices
one can make to prevent having the syndrome.

People with Tourette's (as mentioned before), can live as long as any healthy
human being and can live a rather normal life, and so no changes in the household could be made to help the patient, and care-givers are not required.

"When I was nine-years old, an imp took up residence in me.
One afternoon he prodded the left side of my face from the inside,
causing my lips to purse and curl askew toward my squinting left eye.
Without yet knowing why, I rapidly blinked and shrugged. I grunted.
I threw back my head and squeaked while my fists smacked my bruised abdomen." - Description of the symptoms experienced by a man with Tourette Syndrome.
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Tourettes affects the part of the brain called the Globus Pallidus, situated in the Medulla, aswell as the Cortex and Frontal Lobe.

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