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Tourette syndrome: symptoms, causes, and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The Tourette syndrome is a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by the presence of physical and vocal tics that may be temporary or chronic; It occurs in childhood, and tics generally decrease after adolescence. This alteration can affect anyone, although men are more likely to develop it and the symptoms in most cases are moderate. Tourette syndrome owes its name to a French neurologist who diagnosed it in 1885, in an 86-year-old woman. At FastlyHealwe explain the symptoms, causes and treatment of Tourette syndrome .

Tourette syndrome symptoms

The most common symptom of Tourette syndrome are physical and vocal tics that appear between the ages of 7 and 10 and are generally accompanied by other disorders such as:

  • Hyperactivity.
  • Impulse control.
  • Obsessive compulsive.
  • Depression.

Tics can present in different ways:


  • Motors : blinking, shrugging, head shaking, facial grimaces.
  • Vowels : screaming, sniffing, clicking with the tongue, clearing the throat.


  • Motors : push with arms, jump, sniff, touch others
  • Vowels : Inappropriate or out of context phrases or words, also known as coprolalia.

The complexity of these symptoms can confuse family or close people, as it can be difficult for movements and sounds to be involuntary. It should be noted that tics can be present several times a day or intermittently, for more than a year.

Causes of Tourette syndrome

The cause of Tourett e syndrome is unknown, however some research reveals that there may be two options:

  • There are irregularities in the brain such as the cerebral cortex or the frontal lobes.
  • Alteration in the circuits that exist between these brain regions and brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which form communication between nerve cells.

This alteration has a higher incidence in boys than in girls and is likely to be transmitted from parents to children .

Tourette syndrome diagnosis

The diagnosis of Tourette syndrome is made through symptoms and family history, there is no laboratory test that can determine this disorder. To make an accurate diagnosis, the following points should be taken into account and any other brain pathology that could cause the same symptoms should be ruled out:

  • Having had motor and vocal tics, not necessarily at the same time.
  • Have tics several times a day.
  • That the tics have occurred for three consecutive months.
  • Present tics before the age of 18.

Tourette syndrome treatment

The treatment of Tourette syndrome will be carried out in case the tics cannot be controlled, if the tics are mild, medications will not be administered , as there may be side effects that worsen the symptoms. There is no single drug to treat this disorder, a neurologist must evaluate the patient and depending on the intensity of the tics and the frequency with which they appear, some medication will be prescribed. Although this alteration is not a psychological problem , it can produce disorders such as hyperactivity syndrome or depression, which will require psychotherapy.

Tourette syndrome prognosis

People with Tourette syndrome do not have any physical disabilities and the tics, although worse during adolescence, improve in adulthood. On the other hand, in some people the symptoms can disappear for years and then reappear. Only in a few patients do the tics disappear completely.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Tourette Syndrome: symptoms, causes, and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Brain and Nerves category .

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