Tourette Syndrome - Definition






Tourette syndrome (TS; pronounced ter-ET sin-drohm) is an inherited disorder of the nervous system. It is named after the French physician George Gilles de la Tourette who first described the condition more than a century ago. The condition usually appears before the age of eighteen. Patients develop a pattern of motor tics. A motor (muscular) tic is a repeated, jerky action, such as twisting one's head from side to side. The action has no functional purpose and can occur in any part of the body.

Patients also develop vocal tics. Vocal tics include loud grunts or barking noises. They may also include words or short phrases. In most cases, the tics come and go, and are replaced by different types of sounds and movements. As the patient grows older, the tics may become quite complex.

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