Tourette’s Syndrome

Also Known As:

Tourette's Disorder, Tourette's Syndrome (TS)

What is Tourette’s Syndrome?

Tourette’s Syndrome is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. It is a lifelong condition that usually appears in childhood, but symptoms can improve or worsen during adolescence and adulthood. Tourette’s Syndrome is named after French neurologist Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described the disorder in the late 19th century.


The exact cause of Tourette’s Syndrome is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Some possible causes and risk factors of Tourette’s syndrome include:
• Genetics: Tourette’s syndrome tends to run in families, and it is believed to be caused by changes in certain genes that affect brain function.
• Brain chemistry and structure: Tourette’s syndrome may be caused by imbalances in neurotransmitters, the chemicals in the brain that transmit signals between nerve cells. Differences in the structure and function of certain brain regions, such as the basal ganglia and frontal lobes, have also been associated with the disorder.
• Environmental factors: Exposure to toxins, infections, or other environmental factors during development may increase the risk of developing Tourette’s syndrome.
• Other conditions: Tourette’s syndrome is often associated with other conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and depression.
• Gender: Tourette’s syndrome is more common in males than females.


The hallmark symptoms of Tourette’s Syndrome are tics. These tics can be either motor or vocal, and they can occur simultaneously or separately. The severity and frequency of tics can vary over time and can be worsened by stress and anxiety.

Some common motor tics include:
• Eye blinking
• Facial grimacing
• Shoulder shrugging
• Jerking movements of the limbs
• Touching or tapping objects or people
• Obsessive-compulsive behaviors

Vocal tics can include:
• Throat clearing
• Grunting
• Shouting
• Repeating words or phrases
• Coprolalia (the involuntary utterance of obscene or inappropriate words)

Diagnosis & Treatment

Tourette’s Syndrome is diagnosed by a medical professional based on the presence of both motor and vocal tics for at least one year, with onset before the age of 18.

Treatment for Tourette’s Syndrome includes:
• Medications that target the neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine antagonists and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
• Behavioral therapies, such as habit reversal training and cognitive behavioral therapy, can also be effective in managing tics and reducing stress and anxiety.
• In severe cases, deep brain stimulation and neurosurgery may be considered as a last resort.

Additional Information

Tourette’s Syndrome is a chronic condition, but many people with the disorder can lead fulfilling lives with appropriate management and support. Educating family, friends, and teachers about the disorder and providing support and accommodations can help individuals with Tourette’s Syndrome to thrive.

Also see:

Medical Disclaimer

© 2018 – 2028 Mediv8. All Rights Reserved.

Published Date:

13th April 2023


Mediv8 Admin