A problem in the nervous system which causes individuals to make sudden sounds or movements called tic is Tourette’s syndrome. These movements cannot be controlled by the patient. This syndrome usually starts in childhood and often stays in milder form for many even after they have reached adulthood. Many people can live without taking any kind of treatment for these tics, unless it really bothers them. Patients are often observed to start coughing or blinking their eyes uncontrollably when affected by this syndrome. They may be associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome
Tourette’s syndrome often affects children but get better as they grow up. The symptoms of this syndrome are usually so mild that often they go unnoticed. Some of the common symptoms which are observed in patients are stress, excitement and getting tired and sick which can make the problem worse. The motor tics can make the patient blink continuously, twitch their mouth, shrug their shoulder or jerk their head and arm continuously. The symptoms of vocal tics often include yelping and barking, coughing, grunting or repeating something someone else has said, continuously. Shouting, swearing, and sniffing are also some of the vocal tics which may be caused by the Tourette’s syndrome.
What Causes the Problem?
This syndrome usually affects certain parts of the brain like the basal ganglia which control every other movement of the body. Trouble in the brain network is often suggested as the reason behind Tourette’s syndrome. A definite answer to why the problem occurs has not been established by experts yet, however, genes are believed to play a vital role in causing Tourette’s syndrome. People who have family members suffering from this problem are often at risk of being affected by the syndrome. However, the symptoms may vary from one person to another.
Treatment for Tourette’s syndrome
If you suspect your child of having Tourette’s syndrome, then a neurologist should be seen immediately. No special tests are held for the condition; however, imaging tests of your brain may be carried out by your doctor. CT scan and MRI are often suggested. Doctors may often recommend medications like Haloperidol, fluphenazine and pimozide among others to control these tics. However, very often the tics are very mild and do not need any medication at all.
A talk therapy along with ongoing medications might also be required for some patients as the psychologist may help your child in dealing with social issues which can be caused by these uncontrollable tics. Along with that, behavior therapy may also come in use for many.