What is Tourette Syndrome?
My own short answer is that TS is simply a LABEL for something that NOBODY has ANY CLUE to what causes TS. Not only do they not have a clue, they will keep researching and researching and prescribing their poisonous drugs in HOPES of FINDING a "Cure." BUT, it will NOT be a cure at all.
It will just be another way of masking a disorder that the medical establishment doesn't even WANT to find out the TRUE CAUSE and get to the CORE of the causes of the label they have applied which is known as Tourette Syndrome.
Please note; TS does NOT run in my family and is not, in my case anyway, in any way, hereditary. Now if you want to talk about alcoholism being hereditary and in my family, well...yes, my father was an alcoholic and a verbally abusive one at that. Neither my 2 older brothers or myself have had any issues with alcohol. Gambling, yes, but alcohol, NO-:)
Back to TS.
According to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke LogoNational Institutes of Health, Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. The disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, the pioneering French neurologist who in 1885 first described the condition in an 86-year-old French noblewoman.
The early symptoms of TS are almost always noticed first in childhood, with the average onset between the ages of 7 and 10 years. TS occurs in people from all ethnic groups; males are affected about three to four times more often than females. It is estimated that 200,000 Americans have the most severe form of TS, and as many as one in 100 exhibit milder and less complex symptoms such as chronic motor or vocal tics or transient tics of childhood. Although TS can be a chronic condition with symptoms lasting a lifetime, most people with the condition experience their worst symptoms in their early teens, with improvement occurring in the late teens and continuing into adulthood.
What are the symptoms?
Tics are classified as either simple or complex. Simple motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements that involve a limited number of muscle groups. Some of the more common simple tics include eye blinking and other vision irregularities, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Simple vocalizations might include repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.
Complex tics are distinct, coordinated patterns of movements involving several muscle groups. Complex motor tics might include facial grimacing combined with a head twist and a shoulder shrug. Other complex motor tics may actually appear purposeful, including sniffing or touching objects, hopping, jumping, bending, or twisting. Simple vocal tics may include throat-clearing, sniffing/snorting, grunting, or barking. More complex vocal tics include words or phrases.
Perhaps the most dramatic and disabling tics include motor movements that result in self-harm such as punching oneself in the face or vocal tics including coprolalia (uttering swear words) or echolalia (repeating the words or phrases of others). Some tics are preceded by an urge or sensation in the affected muscle group, commonly called a premonitory urge. Some with TS will describe a need to complete a tic in a certain way or a certain number of times in order to relieve the urge or decrease the sensation.
Tics are often worse with excitement or anxiety and better during calm, focused activities. Certain physical experiences can trigger or worsen tics, for example tight collars may trigger neck tics, or hearing another person sniff or throat-clear may trigger similar sounds.
Tics do not go away during sleep but are often significantly diminished.
NOTE: I personally and completely disagree with the above statement. My tics have NEVER been present while sleeping or while being truly focused on something as in when I am online and very interested ( Focused ) in whatever it is I may be doing ( presently ) at that time. I know this because my father had spent quite a few nights watching me as I slept and he noticed NO movements or tics. I also show NO tics when I am practicing presence ( being Present ) and/or meditating. This has led me to believe that the tics I show are expressed ONLY when I am IN MY MIND, therefore, are a product of the mind and CAN be controlled, if not cured, by being present and not so much in the mind. I will touch on this more at a later time.
What is the course of TS?
Tics come and go over time, varying in type, frequency, location, and severity. The first symptoms usually occur in the head and neck area and may progress to include muscles of the trunk and extremities. Motor tics generally precede the development of vocal tics and simple tics often precede complex tics. Most patients experience peak tic severity before the mid-teen years with improvement for the majority of patients in the late teen years and early adulthood. Approximately 10 percent of those affected have a progressive or disabling course that lasts into adulthood.
Can people with TS control their tics?
Although the symptoms of TS are involuntary, some people can sometimes suppress, camouflage, or otherwise manage their tics in an effort to minimize their impact on functioning. However, people with TS often report a substantial buildup in tension when suppressing their tics to the point where they feel that the tic must be expressed.
Tics in response to an environmental trigger can appear to be voluntary or purposeful but are not.
In a upcoming post I will cover what is THUGHT to be the causes of Tourettes Syndrome.