Understanding Tourette Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome is a condition of the nervous system that causes people to have tics, or rapid, sudden movements and vocal outbursts over which they have little or no control. The tics may change over time. In many cases, they decrease during adolescence and early adulthood.1
Tourette Syndrome is diagnosed by its symptoms and the history of the onset. No definite cause has been established, but genetic studies indicate that Tourette Syndrome may be inherited. Tourette Syndrome often occurs simultaneously with other problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, anxiety, or depression.2
Symptoms of Tourette Syndrome are typically noticed in children between the ages of three and nine. Males are affected about three times more often than females. It is estimated that one in every 100 people has Tourette Syndrome.2
There is no cure for Tourette Syndrome, but medications, along with calm, focused activities and talk therapy may help to control the symptoms.2,
Special education may be appropriate under certain circumstances. In general, people with Tourette Syndrome lead productive lives and can anticipate a normal life span.3
Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about Tourette Syndrome.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides a Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet. This is also available en Español.
The Tourette Association of America provides resources and tools for parents.
Advocacy and Social Connections
- To connect with other parents and families who have a child with Tourette Syndrome, contact the Family Support Network™ of North Carolina.
The Tourette Association of America provides local chapters which offer information, advocacy, and support.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Facts About Tourette Syndrome. Available online at https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/facts.html
- Tourette Association of America (2011). Facts About Tourette Syndrome. Available online at https://www.tourette.org/about-tourette/overview/faqs/
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2011). Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet. Available online at https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm