Tourette Syndrome Diagnosis & Management in Lake Bluff
Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that leads individuals to experience recurring involuntary muscle movements and/or vocalizations, which are referred to as tics. This disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who was one of the first to document the existence of this condition with records dating back to 1885.
Symptoms of Tourette Syndrome
An individual may experience a variety of different tics as a result of Tourette syndrome. These tics are classified as:
- Simple tics: Brief movements from a few specific muscle groups.
- Complex tics: Patterned movements involving multiple muscle groups.
- Motor tics: Movement of the body, such as rapid blinking or shoulder twitches.
- Vocal tics: Involuntary use of the vocal cords, which may present itself as humming, grunting, or even shouting. When profane phrases are unwillingly shouted, it is specifically referred to as a condition called coprolalia.
Most often, symptoms of Tourette syndrome will begin occurring when the individual is between the ages of 5 and 10. Motor tics are especially common, and may worsen or improve depending on varying stress levels throughout the person’s lifetime. Severity of symptoms may also change as the person continues to age, though it is possible for these changes to be either positive or negative depending on the particular case.
Associated Health Conditions
Many individuals with Tourette syndrome will also experience challenges with behavioral and social conditions, though this is not always the case. Most often, such conditions include:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Muscle pains or frequent headaches
- Various sleep disorders
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Learning disabilities
Diagnosing Tourette Syndrome
Because many instances of Tourette syndrome begin at a young age, it is important for parents to remain vigilant of signs in their child that may point to this disorder. While not all tics involve chronic, life-long symptoms of Tourette syndrome, it is advised for parents to seek professional care from a specialist if their child begins exhibiting unexplained motor or vocal movements.
While there is no particular test available to screen for Tourette syndrome, this neurological condition can often be identified during a thorough evaluation with a medical professional. Other diagnostic tools may be used to officially rule out other suspected health issues.
Risk Factors to Consider
Although it is unclear as to what causes Tourette syndrome, there are a couple of known influential factors. Those with a family history of Tourette syndrome are much more likely to experience it themselves, as it is believed that this disorder may be an inherited condition. In addition, males are roughly 3 times more likely to be diagnosed than females.
Treatment for Tourette Syndrome in Vernon Hills
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Tourette syndrome. There are, however, many ways that persons with this disorder can alleviate and manage its symptoms.
Prescription medications are often able to relieve muscle tension, which can often lead to decreased frequency or severity of tics. This form of treatment can also be very effective for those suffering from related conditions like ADHD, anxiety, or impulse control problems.
Often used in conjunction with medication, different therapeutic methods can relieve some of the individual’s stress over their disorder. By utilizing different coping mechanisms, many people with Tourette syndrome find that therapy can help to form new, positive habits that work to avoid involuntary tics.
Individuals living in Lindenhurst that are in search of ongoing treatment for Tourette syndrome should contact Lake Forest Pediatrics today to speak with one of our specialists. Together, we can work directly with you to find actionable solutions to this frustrating disorder.