What is Tourette’s Syndrome?

Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition of the brain. Most people recognise the main feature of Tourette’s which is tics.

Tics can be either vocal or motor, and are movements that people are unable to control.

Tourette’s syndrome often occurs in children between the ages of 5 and 9. The condition tends to be more common in boys than girls.

Children with Tourette’s will sometimes have other conditions such as OCD or ADHD

Signs and symptoms

There is a common misconception that tics often manifest themselves as swear words. In fact, this is one of the less common forms of tics.

Motor tics, or physical tics, might be movements such as;

  • Blinking or eye rolling
  • Shoulder shrugging
  • Head or neck jerks
  • Jumping
  • Grimacing

Vocal tics, which are repetitive sounds, can be noises such as;

  • Throat clearing
  • Coughing
  • Animal noises
  • Repeating random words
  • Swearing

Tics will present themselves more often if a child is tired, stressed or maybe anxious. A child can’t stop themselves from having tics. They are an urge that is uncontrollable and comes out without a child being able to stop it.

Treating the condition

Some children will grow out of Tourette’s syndrome as they get older. If they don’t, they can often learn to manage the condition themselves as teenagers or adults.

In severe cases, treatment such as behavioural therapy or sometimes even medication might be considered. This should be discussed with a professional such as a GP or psychologist.

How do people get Tourette’s syndrome?

Tourette’s is known to be a genetic condition, so can often be passed down from parents.

The actual cause is unknown but is likely to be linked to a part of the brain that regulates movement in the body.

Advice and Support

For further information and advice about the condition and support please visit;

Tourette’s Action