Tourettes disorder or Tourettes syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes individuals to develop repetitive and stereotyped movements and vocalizations commonly referred to as tics. This condition was primarily described by the French doctor carrying the same name which diagnosed the disorder for the first time in 1885. Tourettes disorder is highly interfering with the sufferer’s life and that is why this condition has been intensively studied along the years. Read on and find out more interesting information on this subject, in particular regarding the symptoms, causes and treatment of the Tourettes disorder.
The specific causes of this ailment are still a mystery to the specialists. According to recent studies it appears that Tourettes disorder is inherited and moreover, there are believes that the condition is a result of an abnormality in certain areas of the brain, particularly in the frontal lobes and cortex. It seems that these abnormalities affect the circuits that link these areas and interfere with the communication between the nerve cells. Specialists have reached the consensus that the causes of Tourettes disorder are very complex and that is why they are so difficult to explain.
Tourettes symptoms mainly include the so called tics which consist of involuntary movements of a limited number of muscles. The tics are sudden and brief and they can be either simple or complex. Common Tourettes symptoms include eye blinking, shoulder shrugging or facial grimacing. Vocalizations may also occur as a result of this condition and they are usually simple such as repetitive throat-clearing or sniffing although more complex vocal tics may also be experienced in the form of words of phrases. Complex movement tics can be observed clearly as they involve the movement of more groups of muscles and are usually accompanied by simple or complex vocal tics. Very severe Tourettes symptoms include motor movements through which the patients may harm themselves such as punching in the face. Tourettes disorder is known in the pop culture due to coprolalia, one of the Tourettes symptoms that causes the patient to utter swear words. As with regard to the symptoms of this disorder, it is estimated that they are firstly noticeable when the patient is around 7 to 10 years old and they worsen by mid teenage. After this period they decrease in intensity and severity and continue through adulthood.
Tourettes treatment is available but unfortunately it cannot help the patients and it cannot cure the disease. Neuroleptics are the main medications used in the Tourettes treatment with the aim of suppressing the tics. Other medications used in the suppression of tics are clonidine and guanfacine.
To conclude, Tourettes disorder cannot be cured although patients can get help to cope with the Tourettes symptoms. Perhaps the technological development will provide these individuals with a better chance to improve their quality of life although we must wait for researchers to develop a better treatment alternative for such a dramatic condition like Tourettes disorder.
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