tics are often much simpler than that. Transient tics are
actually quite common in children and include such things
as twirling hair, chewing on clothes, and foot tapping. Other
motor tics include touching objects or people, twirling around,
jumping, hopping, skipping, stretching, blinking, opening
mouth, and many other movements. What differentiates Tourettes
from common transient tics is the presence of vocal tics and
the duration of tics. Vocal tics can include grunting, gurgling,
whistling, throat clearing, and even coughing. Incidentally,
parents often dismiss coughing and throat clearing tics as
the common cold or allergies.
causes Tourette Syndrome?
exact cause of Tourette Syndrome is unknown. However, researchers
believe there may be abnormalities of the brain or the brain’s
neurotransmitters. There is a hereditary component to Tourettes
as well. Researchers have not pinpointed the exact mechanism
for this, but they do know there are strong family tendencies
tics be controlled?
tic cannot be controlled. Children may be able to suppress
tics for short periods of time, and sometimes can alter a
tic to be less noticeable, but this is extremely difficult
and may cause the symptoms to be exacerbated later. An easy
comparison is to itching or sneezing. One can ignore these
sensations but only for a limited period of time before the
urge is to difficult to resist or as in sneezing spontaneously
treatment is available?
symptoms of Tourette Syndrome are disruptive to a child’s
life no treatment is necessary or recommended. There are medications
available to treat Tourettes including Clonidine, Risperdol,
and Haldol. Some of these medications have heavy side effects
so you will want to discuss with your doctor the risk/benefits
of using these medications. Experimental treatments such as
the nicotine patch have also been shown to be helpful in reducing
the number of tics.
children outgrow Tourette Syndrome?
a large number of children will see an improvement in symptoms
or a complete disappearance of tics upon reaching adulthood.
should I do if I suspect my child has Tourettes?
your doctor to schedule an appointment. There can be other
causes for tics so your child should be evaluated by a doctor
to rule out any other possibilities. If your doctor is familiar
with Tourette Syndrome, he may make the diagnosis himself,
but it is likely he will refer you to a neurologist or psychiatrist
to make the diagnosis.