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Tourette Syndrome (Movement Disorders)

Overview of Tourette Syndrome

Tourette's Syndrome occurs in children causing sudden ticks including movements, sounds, blinking, coughing, and possibly unexpected outbursts they might not intend to say out loud. Doctors estimate tics begin around ages 2 and 15 with males being three to four times more likely to develop than females. Currently there is not a cure for the syndrome there are treatments. Tics, movements, and outbursts can lessen and become controlled into the teenage years.

Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms can be mild to severe. They can impact daily function, social communication, and quality of life for your child. There are two types of tics, motor and vocal tics. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Jumping
  • Shouting
  • Swearing
  • Grunting
  • Sniffing
  • Coughing
  • Barking or Yelping
  • Blinking


Currently doctors and scientists do not know the exact cause of Tourette Syndrome. However it is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If your child is experiencing symptoms they should be seen by their health care provider. The doctor will diagnose your child and ask you some questions you may want to have ready include:

  • How long has this been happening to your child?
  • Does anyone else in the family have these kinds of symptoms?
  • How long do the tics last? Is it a gradual buildup or random throughout the day?
  • Are there any other neurological conditions your child may have?

When to See a Doctor

Visit your child's pediatrician if you notice these symptoms. Not all tics may indicate Tourette Syndrome and in some cases it can go away over time. However it is important to see your doctor once these symptoms become more established. The doctor will be able to diagnose your child and recommend the best treatment.

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