Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by sudden, rapid, recurrent, non-rhythmic movements or sounds called tics. The following criteria must be met to confirm the diagnosis. The tics have arisen before 21 years and has at least two motor tics (blinking, jumping, biting lips, shrugging etc.) and one vocal tic (whispering, grunting, hissing etc.). These need not necessarily be at the same time present. The tics have at least one year maintenance and interrupted by a total of up to 3 months by tic-free periods. It is estimated that 1 in every 100 persons has Tourette Syndrome. Research shows that nearly 90% of the persons with Tourette syndrome have to co-morbidity. No less than 55% patients have ADHD or OCD in addition to Tourette's.
Tourette syndrome is not curable. Education and Behavioral Therapy are sufficient to treat mild symptoms. Moderate to severe symptoms are treated using alpha-2-receptor agonists (clonidine, guanfacine), antipsychotics (haloperidol, pimozide). Surgery can be needed in severe cases. Research into genetics, brain imaging, behavioural science, neuroscience and neuropathology is helping scientists to make progress towards understanding the basis of Tourette Syndrome. A number of clinical trials including studies of stimulant treatment of ADHD and behavioral treatments for reducing tic severity in children and adults.