January 17, 2006
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological condition that causes children, teens and adults to make sounds and movements that they don’t want to make and cannot control. These sounds and movements are called tics.
There are two kinds of tics: motor and vocal. Some common motor tics are eye blinking, facial grimacing, jaw movements, head bobbing/jerking, shoulder shrugging, neck stretching and arm jerking.
Some kinds of vocal tics are sniffing, throat clearing, grunting, hooting and shouts. Some vocal tics are more complicated and can include words or phrases. In a minority of cases the words are profane (ie., swear words, ethnic slurs and other socially unacceptable words or phrases.)
There are common associated problems that people with Tourette syndrome may have, such as obsessive-compulsive behaviors, ADHD, learning difficulties, emotion control problems, anxiety, mood problems, social disorders and sleeping problems.