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Tics & Tourette Diagnosis

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Our Tics & Tourette Pathway

Each clinician at our centre has their own approach to assessments and treatment, and may tailor their approach depending on the patient's clinical presentation

Please find below an outline of potential elements that may form part of the assessment process:

  • Some questionnaires may be required to be completed by yourself or other 3rd parties (such as your child's teacher(s) if you are in agreement), during the assessment appointment(s) process.

  • (For children) we require any contact with school to be arranged via yourself, and neither our clinician nor office will contact your child's school directly.

  • Weight, height, pulse and blood pressure may potentially be taken (if applicable), or if the appointment is via Zoom, you may be asked to arrange this before or after an appointment.

  • Depending on the patient's (and family's) medical history, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and/or blood tests may be required. If so, any such tests are not included within our centre's fees and are payable directly to the relevant clinics whom undertake them.

  • Psychoeducation strategies may be offered and in addition some written resources may be provided.

  • Medication may potentially be discussed and prescribed during the assessment process if relevant consent obtained.

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 then some second generation medications are often prescribed for tic suppression.