Tourette Syndrome is a neurological condition, characterized by a combination of involuntary noises (grunting, coughing or shouting) and movements (jerking of the head or jumping) called tics. 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. Genetic studies suggest that some forms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) are genetically related to TS. The epidemiology of Tourette’s was not properly studies in Israel. Studies across the world indicate 1 in every 100 children is likely to be affected with Tourette's. It is 4-5 times more common in boys than in girls.
There is no cure for Tourette syndrome, it is a lifelong condition. The current medical technologies only allow individuals to manage their symptoms. Most cases of TS are mild, and do not require pharmacological treatment. The alpha2-adrenergic agonists (clonidine) may be effective at treating underlying ADHD symptoms, although CNS stimulants and atypical neuroleptics can be used concurrently. Alternate treatment options like massage therapies, exercise, chiropractic therapy and acupuncture have been used to help relieve the incidence of tics. Research into genetics, brain imaging, behavioral science, neuroscience and neuropathology is helping scientists to make progress towards understanding the basis of TS.