Tourette Syndrome

Also: Tics

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological movement disorder that is inherited. It affects between 100,000 to 200,000 people in the United States. TS affects a person’s central nervous system and causes tics. Tics are unwanted, involuntary twitches, movements, or sounds that people make. To have Tourette syndrome, a person must have two tics that affect body movement and one that is a sound.

All kids who have Tourette syndrome have tics, but a person can have tics without having Tourette syndrome. Some health conditions and medicines, for instance, can cause tics. And many kids have tics that disappear on their own in a few months or a year.

Tourette Syndrome Fast Facts:

  • The symptoms of TS generally appear before the age of 18, with the median age of onset being 7 years of age.
  • The first symptoms are usually facial tics, such as eye blinks.
  • Although there are treatments, there is as yet no cure for TS and symptoms can last throughout one’s life.
  • The symptoms of TS generally decline in severity after puberty. In 20-30% of cases, the symptoms disappear entirely as the person with TS ages into their 20s.
  • People with TS have a normal life span.
  • TS does not affect a person’s IQ.
  • Tics decrease in frequency and intensity during sleep.
  • TS is seen in all ethnic groups.
  • Males are affected by TS three to four times more often than females.
  • The majority of cases of TS are classified as mild, although specific symptoms and their severity vary from person to person.
  • Most people with TS are able to hold jobs and lead full lives.

For more information about Tourette Syndrome read here:

Tourette Syndrome Websites:

Founded in 1972 in Bayside New York, the national Tourette Syndrome Association is the only national voluntary non-profit membership organization in this field.  Our mission is to identify the cause of, find the cure for and control the effects of Tourette Syndrome.  We offer resources and referrals to help people and their families cope with the problems that occur with TS.  We raise public awareness and counter media stereotypes about TS.

Tourette Syndrome Books:

In Tic Talk – Living with Tourette Syndrome, Dylan Peters shares what he has learned of tolerance and acceptance during the five years he’s had Tourette Syndrome.