Definition of Tics and Tourette Syndrome
Children often develop tics but grow out of them after several months. These are known as transient tics. For tics to be classified as Tourette Syndrome, they have to be present for at least a year and include at least one vocal tic.
Signs and symptoms of Tics and Tourette Syndrome
Tics can be defined as 2 groups:
Vocal tics – such as grunting, coughing, shouting out words, sniffing or throat clearing.
Motor tics – such as jerking of the head, jumping up and down, blinking of the eyes or shrugging of shoulders.
Tics can also be:
Simple – such as making a small movement or uttering a single sound.
Complex – such as making a series of movements or speaking a long phrase.
Most people who are diagnosed with Tics and Tourette Syndrome have a combination of physical and vocal tics, which can be both simple and complex.
Tics can often be heightened when under stress, anxiety, if ill or nervously excited and sometime surprisingly when relaxing and coming home from school. Conversely, tics can often be reduced if doing an enjoyable task and if kept focused.
Treatment for Tics and Tourette Syndrome
Although there is no cure for Tics and Tourette Syndrome, the condition in many individuals improves in the late teens and early 20s. Some may actually become symptom-free or no longer need medication for tic suppression, although the disorder is generally lifelong and chronic.
Tic symptoms do not often cause impairment; therefore, the majority of people with Tics and Tourette Syndrome require no medication for tic suppression. If you do require medication, Clonidine or second generation antipsychotics are often prescribed for tic suppression.
An initial one hour assessment followed by two further hours of assessment will be required.
During this time we will cover the points below:
Pharmacological treatment may be required ONLY if in agreement
If Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Habit reversal Therapy is necessary a referral will be made.
30 minute follow ups will be dependent on treatment, as and when necessary.
Dr. Giovanni Giaroli MD MSc PGDipCAT