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. Tics are brief, sudden repetitive and purposeless movements affecting any part of the body. TS usually starts between 6 or 8 years of age and they lessen as you go through you teens. 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 has been estimated that between 4-18% of people can have tics at some point in their lives, most likely in childhood. About one child in a hundred will have TS. The boys are more two to four times likely to be affected than girls. TS is inheritable and runs among families.
There is no cure for TS, but lot of ways to learn to manage tics. Most cases of TS are mild, and do 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). Cognitive behavioral therapy and Relaxation techniques may be helpful in some patients. Surgery is useful in extreme cases when the patient does not respond to all other forms of therapy. Tourette Support Ireland is a national voluntary non-profit organisation. They work with teachers, physicians and other medical professionals heighten the awareness among people about TS.