Tourette Syndrome - Treatment
In a majority of cases, patients with TS learn to live with and adapt to their condition. They do not require medication in order to live a reasonably normal life. In serious cases, a drug used to treat severe mental disorders can be used. Haloperidol (pronounced hal-oh-PER-uh-dol, trade name Haldol) or pimozide (pronounced PIM-uh-zide, trade name Orap) are the drugs usually chosen for treatment. They are given at first in low doses and then increased until tics begin to improve.
The drug clonidine (pronounced KLON-uh-deen) is sometimes used with TS patients also. The drug was developed originally to treat high blood pressure. But it may also help relieve the motor tics associated with TS. It usually does not work as well with vocal tics. The drug helps children with TS to focus their attention on tasks. It also makes many patients less frightened of their own symptoms.
Medication is not always the best form of treatment. In many cases, tics often get better by themselves. The best treatment for a patient may a calm, comfortable atmosphere. Children who have TS often do quite well in a regular classroom. If they do require medication, the dose should be monitored carefully. It should be reduced as soon and as much as possible when symptoms begin to get better. Children with severe symptoms may require special classrooms, a private place to study, or individual tutoring.
Counseling will not help cure a person's tics. But it may help the patient understand the nature of his or her condition and how to deal with it. Like any ongoing childhood illness, TS can place great strain on a family. Family counseling can help the TS child, parents, and brothers and sisters better understand the medical condition. Family members can be taught how to be helpful without being over-protective.
Relaxation techniques may reduce the number and severity of tics. Yoga and biofeedback are two such techniques. Homeopathic practitioners believe that patients with TS can be helped with a healthy, well-balanced diet.