The Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by involuntary, rapid, mostly sudden movements called ticsthat may occur in the same way over and over again, but are not rhythmic and can also occur during sleep. Signs and symptoms of Tourette syndrome typically show up between ages 2 and 12, with the average being around 7 years of age. The exact cause is unknown. Approximately 1% of the population has TS which can be as high as 3.8%. Studies report that up to 24% of children develop tics during childhood at some point. 60% of children with TS also have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and up to 30% have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
There is no standard therapy for TS. In case of mild symptoms, treatment for TS is usually limited to education. Severe tics can be treated with drugs like neuroleptics (risperidone, ziprasidone, haloperidol etc) and antihypertensives (clonidine, guanfacine etc). Cognitive behavioral therapy and Relaxation techniques may be helpful in some patients. 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 are being done across the world. Smaller trials of novel approaches to treatment such as dopamine agonists and glutamatergic medications also show promise.