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
- Repeated throat clearing or sniffing
- Shoulder shrugging
- Vocal (speech) outbursts
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.
A Botox (Botulinum toxin) injection placed directly into the affected muscle can help reduce tics.
Your specialist will conduct a comprehensive physical and mental examination – including gathering a thorough health history – to diagnose your Tourette syndrome.
Your specialist may order blood tests to rule out other conditions or situations that can cause symptoms of Tourette’s.
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.