Tourette's Disorder TicsSkip to the navigation
Vocal and motor tics can be simple or complex.
Types of vocal tics
Simple vocal tics involve
simple sounds made by moving air through the nose or mouth. Simple vocal tics
- Grunting, barking, and hissing.
- Sniffing, snorting, or throat-clearing.
Complex vocal tics involve
more complex sounds, including words, phrases, and sentences. A person who has
a complex motor tic may talk to him or herself, repeat his or her own words
(palilalia) or other people's words (echolalia), or use obscene words
(coprolalia). Complex vocal tics may interrupt the smooth flow of a normal
conversation or occur at the beginning of a sentence, much like a stutter or a
stammer. Complex vocal tics include statements such as:
- "Yeah, that's right."
- "Now you've got it."
Types of motor tics
Simple motor tics involve
only one muscle group. They can be embarrassing or painful (such as jaw
snapping). Simple motor tics include:
- Quick eye blinks or eye jerks.
- Lip licking.
- Head twitches or head jerks.
- Shoulder shrugs.
- Muscle tensing.
Complex motor tics can be a
combination of many simple motor tics or a series of movements that involve
more than one muscle group. Complex motor tics are slower and often appear as
if the person is making the movements intentionally. Complex motor tics can
interfere greatly with daily activities and may be self-destructive (such as
head-banging or lip-biting). Examples include:
- Obscene gesturing or gyrating movements.
- Skipping, hopping, or twirling.
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
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