Tourette Syndrome - Diagnosis
There are no specific tests for TS. However, motor and vocal tics are usually clear symptoms of the condition. A medical history is usually taken to find out if other family members have the condition. The behaviors characteristic of TS must be present for at least a year and should begin before the age of eighteen to justify a diagnosis of Tourette syndrome.
Diagnosis can sometimes be difficult. Many patients learn to hold back their tics when others are around. Family members, school teachers and nurses, and even doctors may not have the chance to observe tics. In some cases, diagnosis is not made until the patient learns to trust a doctor enough to let him or her see the symptoms of TS.
In some cases, tests are conducted to rule out other mental disorders. For example, blood tests may indicate whether or not muscular diseases are present. Electroencephalograms (EEG; pronounced ih-LEK-tro-in-SEH-fuhlo-gram) may show the presence of brain disorders that have symptoms similar to those of TS.