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Tourette's Syndrome

Our Providers

Movement Disorders Providers

 

Health Information

Tourette's Syndrome

 

Our Program

UW Health Neurosurgery

UW Health's Movement Disorders Program, based at UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin, treats patients with Tourette's Syndrome.
 
What is Tourette's Syndrome?
 
Tourette's Syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system that causes a person to make repeated and uncontrolled movements and/or sounds called tics.

What causes Tourette's Syndrome?
 
While the exact cause is not known, the syndrome may be linked to problems in the brain and certain substances (dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine) that help nerves communicate.

Symptoms
 
Most people first see the symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome during childhood between the ages of seven and 10. The most common first symptom is a facial tic. Other tics that may follow include:
  • Arm thrusting
  • Eye blinking
  • Head bobbing
  • Shoulder shrugging
  • Repetitive grunting, sniffing, throat clearing
  • Uncontrolled speech production/vocalizations
Tics may occur many times a day, but they tend to improve or get worse at different times. The tics may change with time.

Treatment

If the symptoms of Tourette's Syndrome are minor, they are usually not treated. This may be because the side effects of the medication may be worse than the symptoms of the syndrome.

Doctors have also been known to prescribe antipsychotics. These medicines can be used to control or eliminate tics, but their use is carefully monitored due to potential side effects of movement disorders and cognitive dulling.
 
Internet Resources
 
Tourette Syndrome Assocation