Tourette Syndrome was named after a French neuropsychiatrist who successfully assessed the disorder in the late 1800s.
TS is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by repeated and involuntary body movements (tics) and uncontrollable vocal sounds. In a minority of cases, the vocalizations can include socially inappropriate words and phrases -- called coprolalia. These outbursts are neither intentional nor purposeful.
Involuntary symptoms can include eye blinking, repeated throat clearing or sniffing, arm thrusting, kicking movements, shoulder shrugging or jumping.
These and other symptoms typically appear before the age of 18 and the condition occurs in all ethnic groups with males affected 3 to 4 times more often than females.
Although the symptoms of TS vary from person to person and range from very mild to severe, the majority of cases fall into the mild category. Associated conditions can include attentional problems, impulsiveness and learning disabilities.
Most people with TS lead productive lives and participate in all professions. Increased public understanding and tolerance of TS symptoms are of paramount importance to people with Tourette Syndrome.
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