Dr. Cynthia Guzmán M.D
Psychological disorders affect our everyday lives and how we live them. Gilles De La Tourette (Tourette’s for short) is an exceptional example of this. In this paper I will discuss the following and its relation to Tourette’s; diagnosis, symptoms, origins and treatment options. Tourette’s syndrome is characterized by involuntary tics (sudden, repetitive motor movements or vocalizations). It is infamous for being known as a cause for people to scream or do unusual things.
Tourette’s is an inherited neuropsychiatric disorder, which means that it is a genetic disease that primarily affects the nervous system. Tourette’s is characterized by both physical (motor) tics, and vocal (phonic) tics. Since it is a spectrum there are a wide variety of possible side effects, it is only officially classified when a physical tic and one or more vocal tics are present in the duration of a year. When a diagnosis is being made it's not uncommon to view the patient's family history to determine if affecting disorders are present. There is no requirement that comorbid conditions preside, but it is up to the diagnostician to decide. Often diagnosis is made in early childhood and symptoms deteriorate throughout the later years.
The most common symptoms include facial and vocal tics. Tics can vary in intensity from slight shrugs to screaming obscenities. Although less severe tics are more common, even a simple shrugging tic can end in self harm such as punching ones self in the face or screaming. Tics intensify based on anxiety or excitement and deteriorate under calm circumstances. Tics can also be masked, however it often causes a buildup of tension to the point where they feel that the tic must be suppressed. Tourette’s is often seen in conjunction with OCD and ADHD which can sometimes mask the less severe cases.
In the early Ages people with Tourette’s were often thought to be “possessed by the devil” until Jean Marc Gaspard Itard came along and reported the first Case of Tourette’s in 1825. Jean-Martin Charcot's resident published an account of 9 patients in 1885, and thus had the disease named after him. Modern research points to abnormalities in certain brain regions resulting