Tourette syndrome – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Thursday, July 05, 2018 by

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder. Patients with the disorder may experience “repeated, involuntary physical movements, and vocal outbursts.” Tourette syndrome is the most severe kind of tic syndrome.

Tics are involuntary muscle spasms and they are made up of abrupt sporadic twitches of a group of muscles.

A very complicated syndrome, Tourette involves abnormalities in different parts of the brain and the electrical circuits that connect them. Since the cause of Tourette remains unknown, there is no way to prevent the disorder.

In the U.S., at least 200,000 individuals experience the severe signs of Tourette syndrome. About one in 100 Americans have milder symptoms. The disorder affects males about four times more than females.

Tourette syndrome is also called chronic motor tic, chronic multiple tics, Gilles de la Tourette’s disease, Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome (GTS), habit spasms, Maladie des Tics, Paulitis, or Tourette’s disorder.

Known symptoms of Tourette syndrome

The signs of Tourette syndrome may vary, and they can manifest in patients aged three to nine years old. The signs can worsen when a patient is anxious, excited, or stressed. Tics are also at their worst during a patient’s late teen years.

Individuals with the disorder tend to have both a motor tic and a vocal tic, which are both classified into simple or complex tics. Simple tics tend to involve a single muscle group and are brief. Meanwhile, complex tics are coordinated patterns of movements or vocalizations that involve various muscle groups.

Motor tics
Simple motor tics:

  • Eye blinking
  • Eye darting
  • Head jerking
  • Mouth movements
  • Nose twitching
  • Shoulder shrugging
  • Sticking the tongue out

Complex motor tics:

  • Bending or twisting your body
  • Hopping
  • Making obscene gestures
  • Smelling or touching objects
  • Stepping in certain patterns

Vocal tics
Simple vocal tics:

  • Barking
  • Coughing
  • Grunting
  • Hiccupping
  • Throat clearing

Complex vocal tics:

  • Repeating your own words or phrases
  • Repeating other people’s words or phrases
  • Using vulgar or obscene words

Risk factors for Tourette syndrome are unconfirmed. Researchers posit that an inherited genetic defect can cause the disorder. The specific genes directly related to Tourette are still unidentified.

However, family clusters have been determined and researchers suggest that genetics may be involved in some cases of the syndrome.

Body systems harmed by Tourette syndrome

Tourette syndrome may cause the following complications:

  • Behavioral problems – This can include antisocial behavior, inappropriate behavior, or flying into sudden rages.
  • Bullying – Children with Tourette’s syndrome may be bullied because of their various tics.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent Tourette syndrome

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent Tourette syndrome or address its signs:

  • B vitamins – B vitamins can strengthen the nervous system, prevent damage from free radicals, minimize inflammation, and regulate mood. Vitamin B12 can prevent anxiety, which triggers the tics associated with Tourette.
  • Chamomile – A known remedy against anxiety, depression, insomnia, and muscle spasms, chamomile can help ease tension, reduce spasms, and induce quality sleep.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium is crucial for proper muscle function and reaction. Magnesium and vitamin B6 can help decrease symptoms in children with the disorder.
  • Passion flower – Passion flower can prevent anxiety, depression, and insomnia, which are common in patients with the disorder.

Treatments, management plans for Tourette syndrome

There is no cure for Tourette syndrome and most children with tics don’t require treatment for their tics.

Some patients may require treatment to help control their tics.

Treatment for the disorder may include behavioral therapy and medication.

Patients with Tourette syndrome may undergo behavioral therapy with a psychologist or a specially trained therapist.

Two types of behavioral therapy can help minimize the occurrence of tics:

  • Exposure with response prevention (ERP) – This method trains patients to control the urge have tics. Techniques used to recreate the urge have tics can train individuals to tolerate the feeling, without doing the tic, until the urge to do so goes away.
  • Habit reversal training – This involves identifying the feelings that trigger tics. The next step is to determine an alternative and less noticeable way of relieving the urge have tic.

Where to learn more

Summary

Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder. Patients with the disorder may experience “repeated, involuntary physical movements and vocal outbursts.”

Individuals with the disorder then to have both a motor tic and a vocal tic, which are both classified into simple or complex tics.

Tourette syndrome may cause complications like behavioral problems and bullying.

There is no cure for Tourette syndrome and most children with tics don’t require treatment for their tics. Some patients may require treatment to help control their tics. Treatment for the disorder may include behavioral therapy and medication.

Sources include:

Healthline.com

DavidWolfe.com

NHS.uk



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