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Tourette’s Syndrome 

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Tourette’s syndrome – also known as Tourette disorder  – is a condition that causes a person to make repeated, quick movements or sounds that they cannot control. Symptoms usually first appear between the ages of seven and 10.

The most common first symptom is a facial tic. Tics in other areas of the body may begin to occur next. Symptoms may start with small movements — such as eye blinking, sniffling, or coughing — and then later become constant movements and sounds that you can’t control.

Different types of tics that occur with Tourette’s can include:

  • Arm thrusting
  • Eye blinking
  • Jumping
  • Kicking
  • Repeated throat clearing or sniffing
  • Shoulder shrugging
  • Vocal (speech) outbursts

Treatments

Medicines
Your specialist may prescribe a medicine or combination of medicines that can help control the symptoms of Tourette’s, including the tics.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Your specialist may suggest you undergo CBT to help you manage the symptoms of your Tourette’s syndrome from a psychological standpoint.

Botox Injections
A Botox (Botulinum toxin) injection placed directly into the affected muscle can help reduce tics.


Tests

Comprehensive Exam
Your specialist will conduct a comprehensive physical and mental examination – including gathering a thorough health history – to diagnose your Tourette syndrome.

Blood Tests
Your specialist may order blood tests to rule out other conditions or situations that can cause symptoms of Tourette’s.

Imaging Tests
Your specialist may order imaging tests – such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – to rule out other conditions or situations that can cause symptoms of Tourette’s.

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