Tourettes Syndrome

 


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Tourettes Syndrome was discovered by Dr. George Gilles de la Tourette who first reported the condition in medical literature in 1885.

Tourettes Syndrome is known to run in families, although there are cases of Sporadic Tourettes Syndrome where there is no known family link to the condition.

The condition tends to affect around three times more men than women. It is caused by problems in the development of the Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal cord) and often becomes apparent around the age of 7 years old although it is common for the symptoms to manifest themselves in early teenage years as well.

There are two main symptoms of Tourettes Syndrome. These are

Physical Tics

This is where the patient of Tourettes suffers from either or a combination of the following symptoms – facial twitches, blinking, hand and foot movements.

Vocal Tics

The Tourettes Syndrome patient suffers from making involuntary noises or sometimes words.

These symptoms caused by Tourettes tend to appear around the age of 7 although they sometimes appear in older children. The symptoms tend to be quite mild although that doesn’t stop them from being quite embarrassing and often the patient can suffer from bullying from other children.

In most cases, the symptoms from Tourettes Syndrome become a lot less as time goes by. However, in a few cases, the symptoms get worse as the patient becomes older. Sometimes, the physical or vocal tics can interfere with the patients life to a great deal.

It has been noted that stressful situations can make the symptoms of Tourettes Syndrome a lot worse. Also, it is important to know that the symptom where the sufferer involuntarily keeps saying obscene words, is despite popular belief quite rare.

We haven’t managed to discover exactly what causes Tourettes Syndrome although there is a significant amount of research going on in order to establish what causes this condition.

It is widely accepted that Tourettes runs in families, but we don’t know exactly which genes cause the problem.

The condition itself, it is believed is caused by problems in the development of the Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord). This involves the neurotransmitters. It is possible that Tourettes is caused by the Central Nervous System developing in an uneven way.

Because nobody knows exactly what causes Tourettes Syndrome, it is very difficult to establish a generic method of treating this condition.

Luckily, most sufferers of Tourettes Syndrome have symptoms which are very mild so don’t require treatment of any sort. However, for those who suffer from much worse symptoms, there is some medication which will relieve the symptoms. However, there isn’t a specific treatment which will treat everybody. For some people one type of medication may work perfectly, but for another patient, it may not be effective. As with most medication, some of the side effects of these drugs may render the benefits not worth it. Some of the side effects can include weight gain.

For some patients, they find Psychotherapy useful. This technique may not necessarily cure the patient of Tourettes Syndrome, however, it is possible that this therapy may substitute one tic for another which is more socially acceptable.

Also, various relaxation techniques will reduce the patients level of stress thus reducing the severity of the tics they may experience.

Tourettes Syndrome can be a huge problem for the sufferer although most cases do tend to be quite mild. We don’t know what causes Tourettes Syndrome, although we do have some good theories. Despite the fact that there is no known cure, there are still some good treatments which in most cases can relieve the symptoms or at least make them more manageable.

For more information on Tourettes Syndrome and to read more information on this condition from other authors, please visit my site at Tourettes Syndrome

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