Tourette Syndrome


Tourette Syndrome

There isn’t well-documented information on the prevalence of Tourette Syndrome in the United States, but the condition may affect as much as 10% of the population. The complex disorder can affect social and emotional well-being, but with the right treatment, management is possible. At THINK Neurology for Kids, the experienced pediatric neurology team specializes in the diagnosis and management of Tourette’s. With appointments available within a matter of days, not weeks or months, call The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, or Austin, Texas, office, or book online today to schedule a consultation with one of the pediatric neurology specialists.

Tourette Syndrome Q & A

What is Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a condition characterized by uncontrolled movement or noises, commonly referred to as tics. These tics may include repeated eye blinking, constant shrugging of shoulders, or blurting out of expletives.

The tics associated with Tourette Syndrome most often develop during childhood between the ages of two and 15 and are more common in boys than girls. Not all tics are troublesome but THINK Neurology for Kids can develop a treatment plan to help your child understand and manage the tics. 

Control over tics tends to improve as children and teens reach adulthood.

What are Tourette Syndrome symptoms?

Tics are the primary symptom of Tourette Syndrome. The severity of the tics can vary from mild to severe. Tics involve movement and/or sound and are generally classified as:

Simple tics

Simple tics tend to be sudden and brief and only involve a small number of muscle groups. Examples of simple tics include eye blinking, eye darting, and grunting.

Complex tics

Complex tics involve many muscle groups and tend to be very distinct, coordinated patterns. Examples of complex tics include hopping, touching or smelling certain objects, and repeating words or phrases. 

Tics can vary in type and severity and worsen when your child is stressed or anxious. Before the tic, there may be an uncomfortable sensation (tingle or itch) that can only relieved after the tic. 

How is Tourette Syndrome diagnosed?

No single test can diagnose Tourette Syndrome. However, the experienced pediatric neurology team at THINK Neurology for Kids can diagnose Tourette Syndrome after a review of symptoms and medical history. Because other health conditions can cause tics or exist alongside Tourette Syndrome, like ADHD, autism, or developmental delay, your child’s doctor may request diagnostic tests to rule out or co-manage other conditions before formalizing a diagnosis. 

How is Tourette Syndrome treated?

Treatment for Tourette Syndrome centers around managing the symptoms. Your child’s pediatric neurologist develops an individualized treatment based on the severity of the tics. Treatment may include:

  • ADHD medication
  • Botox® injections
  • Medications that lessen dopamine production
  • Antidepressants
  • Behavior therapy
  • Psychotherapy

If your child’s tics are mild, treatment may not be needed.

To learn more about Tourette Syndrome, contact THINK Neurology for Kids by phone or online today.