Tourette Syndrome, or more commonly known as ‘Tourette’s’, is a neurological disorder, meaning that it affects the nervous system (the part of the body responsible for sending messages).
Tourette Syndrome is characterised by ‘tics’, which are involuntary movements or sounds, ranging from grunting, jumping, eye rolling, grimacing, jerking of the head, tongue clicking, coughing, or saying words out of context.
Signs of Tourette’s are usually first noticed in early childhood. Many people who live with Tourette’s have said that before experiencing a tic, they get an urge or sensation, which has been likened to that experienced when someone is about to sneeze.
With Tourette’s, most people will think of those living with the condition as having random outbursts of swearing, yet this is in fact not a very common tic, affecting around only 10% of people (Source: Tourette’s Action).
Causes of Tourette’s
Although the cause of Tourette’s is still unknown, it is thought that it is linked to a part of the brain that regulates body movements. It has been found to affect boys more so than girls, however the reason for this is also unknown.
Can Tourette’s be treated?
Not everyone will need treatment for Tourette’s, with many children often outgrowing the condition. However, some people will need additional support and treatment.
There are certain medications that some people have found to be beneficial in reducing symptoms of Tourette’s, whereas others have found that talking therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be a helpful tool. Various complementary therapies have been said to help other people affected by Tourette’s, as well as living a healthier lifestyle.
If you have Tourette Syndrome and would like further support about how to treat it, it’s best to speak to a GP to discuss the options available and where to seek further advice and support.