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Tourette's Disorder


This is a rare disorder characterized by repetitive muscle movements and vocal outbursts. The main diagnostic criteria is as follows:

At some time during the illness, though not necessarily at the same time, the patient has had both of:
At least one vocal tic (A tic is a motor movement or vocalization that is nonrhythmic, rapid, repeated, stereotyped and sudden) and
Multiple motor tics:
For longer than 1 year, these tics have occurred many times each day, nearly every day or at intervals.
During this time, the patient never goes longer than 3 months without the tics.
These symptoms cause marked distress or materially impair work, social or personal functioning.
The symptoms begin before age 18. Approximately 1% of mainstream schoolchildren may be affected. Onset occurs with motor tics usually followed by vocal tics.
The symptoms are not directly caused by the effects of a general medical condition (such as Huntington's disease or a postviral encephalitis) or substance use (such as a CNS stimulant).

Associated Features

There may be other symptoms, such as mental coprolalia, obsessions, and compulsions. Other mental disorders are frequently associated are:

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Dysarthria/Involuntary Movement.
Depressed Mood.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Non-obscene socially inappropriate behaviour

Differential Diagnosis

Some disorders have similar or even the same symptom. The clinician, therefore, in his diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate against the following disorders which he needs to rule out to establish a precise diagnosis

Amphetamine Intoxication.
Cerebrovascular Accidents.
Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome.
Wilson's Disease.
Huntington's Chorea
Multiple Sclerosis.
Organic Mental Disorders
Stereotypic Movement Disorder.
Pervasive Developmental Disorders.
Transient Tic Disorder.
Chronic Motor or Vocal Tic Disorder

The cause of Tourette's Disorder is genetic in ost cases. It occurs most often in boys, and may begin around age 7 or 8. But may not appear until the child is in his or her late teens or early twenties. It may run in families. The tics are worse during emotional stress and are absent during sleep.

Stress reduction may be helpful, including exercise, music and relaxation methods.

Counseling and Psychotherapy [ See Therapy Section ]:

Counselling and group therapy may prove beneficial.

Pharmacotherapy [ See Psychopharmacology Section ] :

Antipsychotic medications may be helpful in treating Tourette's syndrome.



DSM Code

307.23 Tourette's Disorder

F95.2 Tourette's Disorder

Disorder Sheets

Tourettes Action
Tourettes Action
Southbank House
Black Prince Road
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Web: Click Here

Recommended Book

Coping with Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders - Click Here to View


Tourette's Disorder

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