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What is Tourette's syndrome? These are its causes and symptoms

 There are many neurological disorders that can affect a person, including Tourette's syndrome. Doctors indicate that this disorder appears at an early age in children and adolescents, and may disappear in adulthood. What exactly is Tourette's syndrome, what are its symptoms and causes, and is it possible to get treatment to get rid of the symptoms? In this article, you will find a complete guide to Tourette's Syndrome that will answer all your questions.

What is Tourette's syndrome?

Tourette syndrome, which is scientifically known as Tourette syndrome, is a disorder that makes the affected person unable to control some movements, which makes him make repetitive movements or make unwanted sounds involuntarily. For example, a person with Tourette's may blink frequently, raise their shoulders frequently, or make unusual sounds or offensive words. Males are more likely to develop Tourette's syndrome, which begins to appear between the ages of two and up to 15 years.

What are the symptoms of Tourette's syndrome?

Tourette syndrome symptoms appear in the form of tics, which are a group of tics that range from simple to severe. Severe tics can affect the quality of life and prevent the affected person from being able to communicate and perform daily tasks. The patient may suffer from these symptoms as well. during sleep. It should be noted here that the symptoms are severe in adolescence, and can improve and ease when moving into adulthood. Symptoms are divided into two types:

1- Movement spasms

A person with Tourette's syndrome makes a range of involuntary movements that can be:

  • blink of an eye
  • Touching or smelling things.
  • Head twitching.
  • shrug
  • Walking in a pattern.
  • Make obscene gestures.
  • Nose twitching.
  • bowing.
  • making movements in the mouth.
  • jump.

2- Vocal spasms

A person with Tourette's can make a range of involuntary sounds which can be:

  • snoring
  • Repeating someone's words or phrases.
  • Cough.
  • hem.
  • Using vulgar or bad words.
  • The barker.

Note: Before the onset of motor or vocal tics, the patient may feel itching, trembling, or tension. He may also suffer from multiple types of tics, and their severity may increase if he is sick, tense, anxious, tired, or excited.

What are the causes of Tourette's syndrome?

The exact cause of Tourette's syndrome is not known, but the following may increase the risk of developing it:

  • Genetic factors: This disorder usually occurs due to a combination of inherited genetic traits, meaning that the risk of infection increases if family members have it.
  • Environmental factors: Pollution may affect human health and lead to symptoms of Tourette's syndrome.
  • Brain imbalance: An imbalance in the chemicals in the brain that transmit nerve impulses, including dopamine and serotonin, may lead to Tourette's syndrome.

How to treat Tourette's syndrome

People with Tourette syndrome may not need treatment when symptoms are no longer bothersome, and tics often lessen or come under control after the teenage years. However, some people may need to do some treatments to alleviate the symptoms, because there is no treatment that completely cures Tourette's syndrome. Available treatments include:

1- Psychological treatment 

Psychotherapy helps people cope with Tourette's syndrome to live a normal life, and it also helps to train the person to control tics. Psychotherapy can also help with problems associated with Tourette's syndrome, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessions, depression, or anxiety.

2- Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps to identify triggers that trigger tics, and thus learn how to move voluntarily to suppress stimuli and thus avoid any tics.

3- Deep brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulation can help treat severe tics that don't respond to other treatments. Deep brain stimulation involves implanting a battery-powered medical device into the brain to deliver electrical stimulation to targeted areas that control movement. However, this treatment is still in the early research stages, and more research is needed to determine whether it is safe and effective in treating Tourette's syndrome.

4- Medication treatment

Medications can be used to relieve or control tics, and the most common medications used include:

  • Medications that block or reduce dopamine.
  • Injecting the affected muscle with botulinum injections that help relieve simple or vocal tics.
  • Medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Central adrenergic depressants, which are often prescribed for high blood pressure, can help control behavioral symptoms.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Anticonvulsant medications.