Tourette Syndrome

What is Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette syndrome is a problem of the nervous system that results in sudden and involuntary movements or sounds. These sudden movements or sounds are called tics and are different for different people. Tourette’s can be severe or mild, often with onset in childhood. As a child grows, the symptoms may disappear or reduce, and for some they completely go away. The basal ganglia are a part of the brain that is linked with Tourette syndrome. Any differences in this area of the brain can affect the nerve cells. The exact cause of the problem appearing in the brain is not known, but genetics play a vital role. People with a family history of Tourette's, OCD or ADHD are more likely to develop Tourette syndrome. The Tics can vary from slight movements such as blinking or twitching and be more severe such as shaking of the head or arms. Similarly, the sounds can be mild such as clearing the throat or sniffing and may be severe like shouting or yelling out words.


The major symptoms of this disease are:

  • Motor tics such as blinking, twitching, shrugging, and making faces.
  • Vocal tics such as barking, yelling, grunting, coughing, swearing, or sniffing.



The exact causes of this disease are not known. Some of the probable causes of this disease are:

  • Differences and problems in the basal ganglia.
  • Trouble in the brain network.
  • Genes.




The risks factor of this disease are:

  • Family history.
  • Gender: Males are more likely to get affected by this disease.



The disease is very difficult to prevent, but early detection and treatment can reduce the severity of the disease.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, the following technologies are used to find the existence of this disease:


How is it treated?

There is no complete cure for Tourette. At Medanta, our doctors may employ several methods to treat the disease, which may vary on a case-to-case basis.


  • Medications and therapies

    There are certain lifestyle habit therapies that can help in controlling Tourette. These methods can help control and reduce the symptoms. Additionally, sometimes counselling and psychological therapies may be recommended to help cope with the social perception regarding Tourette. The medications also have effective results and can greatly control Tourette.


  • Habit reversal training

    This therapy helps a person recognise the onset of a tic and ways to stop it. It is a highly effective therapy that helps a person gain control over their tics. It may also include other therapies like yoga, meditation, and aromatherapy.


When do I contact the doctor?

You should consult a doctor immediately if you notice involuntary movements or sounds. Whenever a child shows unusual behaviour, it becomes important to identify the cause of the behaviour.  

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How does Medanta provide care?


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