If you have Tourette syndrome, you make unusual movements or sounds, called tics. You have little or no control over them. Common tics are throat-clearing and blinking. You may repeat words, spin, or, rarely, blurt out swear words.
About one of every 100 people has Tourette syndrome. It often occurs with other problems, such as
The cause of Tourette syndrome is unknown. It is more common in boys than girls. The tics usually start in childhood and may be worst in the early teens. Many people eventually outgrow them.
No treatment is needed unless the tics interfere with everyday life. Excitement or worry can make tics worse. Calm, focused activities may make them better. Medicines and talk therapy may also help.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 30 June 2008
Topic last reviewed: 30 June 2008