Tourette’s syndrome is one disorder that’s mysterious to many people. This is due to the fact that many people are simply not aware about the tics that are often associated with this syndrome. By definition, Tourette’s syndrome (TS) is a neurological condition characterized by involuntary movements of the body and production of sounds (also called tics). Tics might include twitching, throat clearing, barking, random words, coughing, and blinking. Here is an overview of some Tourette’s facts that you probably didn’t know:
1. Tourette’s syndrome was named after Gilles Tourette and is an inherited neurological disorder.
2. No two individuals with TS can have identical tics—every person with the syndrome is as different as snowflakes.
3. There are two forms of tics: the vocal (sounds such as sniffing, barking, random words etc that people make) and the motor tics (body movements of the body, including limb movements, blinking, shrugging of the shoulders etc).
4. Tics begin around the age of 5-10 years.
5. Tics are more severe when sufferers are stressed or excited and tend to fade when the victim is calm and relaxed.
6. TS has no cure and there is no drug that is currently developed specifically for the syndrome.
7. TS is believed to be caused by dysfunction of the thalamus, the basil ganglia, and the frontal cortex of the brain. It is believed that TS occurs when there is a failure in various circuits that link brain cortex and the sub cortex.
8. TS is more prevalent in males than females (about 3-4 times more).
9. Even though TS may sometimes disappear or change, the condition is chronic.
10. 1 in 100 children have certain forms of TS—the same number as children with autism.
11. TS never interfere with the victim’s intelligence. In fact, people with TS have been reported to have normal to high intelligence levels.
12. Less than 10% of individuals with TS swear (which is also called coprolania).
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