Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a inheritable, neurological disorder characterised by rapid, repetitive and involuntary muscle movements (eye blinking, head jerking, shoulder shrugging, jumping etc) and vocalisations (barking noises, squealing, grunting, gulping, sniffing, tongue clicking etc) called tics, and often involves behavioural difficulties. The tics usually start in early childhood. The exact cause of TS is not known. TS is often associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Current research indicates 1 in every 100 children has mild to moderate symptoms of TS. The diagnosis is made by observing the symptoms and by evaluating the history of their onset. It is more frequently observed in males than in females. The treatment of TS focuses on identifying and helping the individual manage the symptoms.
Most cases of TS are mild, and do not require pharmacological treatment. Psychobehavioral therapy, patient education may be sufficient. Severe and frequent tics are treated with drugs like alpha-2-adrenergic agonists (clonidine), muscle relaxants (baclofen, clonazepam) and dopamine antagonists. Surgery is useful in extreme cases when the patient does not respond to all other forms of therapy. A number of clinical trials in TS including studies of stimulant treatment of ADHD in TS and behavioral treatments for reducing tic severity in children and adults. Smaller trials of novel approaches to treatment such as dopamine agonists and glutamatergic medications also show promise.