Tourette Syndrome Terms You Should Know

June is Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month.

According to the Tourette Association of America, tics are involuntary, repetitive movement and vocalizations. They are the defining feature of a group of childhood-onset, neurodevelopmental conditions known collectively as Tic disorders and individually as Tourette Syndrome.

Tics are common in childhood. The estimated prevalence of Tourette Syndrome disorder range from 3 to 8 per, 1,000 in school-aged children. Males are more commonly affected than females. Some people may have tic-free periods of weeks to months.

The following are terms related to Tourette Syndrome Disorder:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)– a neurological disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that disrupts functioning in both children and adults The DSM-V defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of attention and or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning of development.

Coprolalia– associated with socially inappropriate words that are derogatory and obscene. It is rare and only impacts 10% of people with Tourette syndrome and is not used to diagnose the syndrome.

Co-Morbidity- the presence of one or more additional conditions occurring with a primary condition.

Echolalia-is characterized as the repetition of words that may be immediate or delayed after the original words are spoken.

Gilles de la Tourette– First person to publish an account in describing a person with “convulsing tic disorder.”

Motor Tics– caused by a movement.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD)- is defined as a disorder that includes two core symptoms- obsessions and compulsions. According to the Census for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obsessions are defined by: Thoughts, impulses, or images that occur over and over again. These thoughts, impulses or images are unwanted. They cause a lot of anxiety and stress.

Palilalia– involuntary repetition of words, phrases or sentences.

Simple Moto Tics– sudden movements including eye blinking, head shaking, shoulder shrugging or arm jerking. Tends to be brief.

Simple Phonic Tics– sudden sounds including sniffing, coughing, throat clearing and grunting.

Tics- movements or sounds that are unpredictable.

Tourette Syndrome-involuntary, repetitive movement and vocalizations. They are the defining feature of a group of childhood-onset, neurodevelopmental conditions known collectively as Tic disorders and individually as Tourette Syndrome

Involuntary– done without conscious control.

Vocal/ Phonic Tics- tics that produce a sound.

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