Tourette syndrome is an inherited, neuropsychiatric syndrome which is characterized by repeated and involuntary movements (tics) and uncontrollable vocal sounds. It usually starts during childhood and continues into adulthood. The first symptoms usually are involuntary movements (tics) of the face, arms, limbs or trunk. These tics are frequent, repetitive and rapid. The exact cause of Tourette's is not known. According to recent studies, 0.2-0.6% of school-age children have Tourette syndrome. It is found more often in boys than in girls. Research shows that nearly 90% of the persons have a co-morbidity. Nearly 55% patients have ADHD or OCD in addition to Tourette's.
Majority of people with Tourette syndrome does not require pharmacological treatment. Psychobehavioral therapy, patient education may be sufficient. Severe tics can be treated with drugs like neuroleptics (risperidone, ziprasidone, haloperidol etc) and antihypertensives (clonidine, guanfacine etc). Surgery is useful in extreme cases when the patient does not respond to all other forms of therapy. Finland Tourette and OCD Association provides support to people suffering from Tourette syndrome and their families. They publish information and organize events of interest to promote awareness on Tourette's.