Tourette syndrome (TS) is an inherited, neuropsychiatric disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic. The early symptoms of TS are typically noticed first in childhood, with the average onset between the ages of 3 and 9 years. The exact cause of Tourette's is unknown. Genetic studies suggest that some forms of ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) are genetically related to TS. It is estimated that 1 in every 100 persons has TS. Research shows that nearly 90% of the persons have a co-morbidity. Nearly 55% patients have ADHD or OCD in addition to Tourette's.
There is no standard therapy for TS. In case of mild symptoms, treatment for TS is usually limited to education. Cognitive behavioral therapy and Relaxation techniques may be helpful in some patients. The alpha2-adrenergic agonists (clonidine) may be effective at treating underlying ADHD symptoms, although CNS stimulants and atypical neuroleptics can be used concurrently. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are predominantly used to treat OCD symptoms in TS. Aripiprazole, an atypical antipsychotic, has been approved by the FDA for pediatric TS. Massage therapies, exercise, chiropractic therapy and acupuncture have been used to help relieve pain or soreness resulting from tics. Smaller trials of novel approaches to treatment such as dopamine agonists and glutamatergic medications also show promise.