What is Tourette’s syndrome, is it hereditary, how is treated, what causes the condition and is it linked to OCD and ADHD?

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What is Tourette's syndrome, is it hereditary, how is treated, what causes the condition and is it linked to OCD and ADHD?



DESPITE being a recognised neurological condition, there’s still an element of taboo surrounding Tourette’s.
It is often associated with outbursts of swearing and other rude language, but this is just one element of the condition, which not everyone has.
YOUTUBE/CASPARLEE YouTuber Caspar Lee has released a brave video describing his struggles with Tourette’s Syndrome
News Group Newspapers Ltd Big Brother winner Pete Bennett gave the British public a unique insight into life with Tourette’s
Here we tell you everything you need to know about Tourette’s syndrome.
What is Tourette’s syndrome?
Tourette’s is far more common that most people realise – affecting around one in every 100 people.
Famous people affected by the condition include Big Brother winner Pete Bennett, while unlucky-in-love patients have gone on a string of dating shows in a bid to find love.
YouTube star Caspar Lee released a video to his seven million subscribers speaking out about his battle with Tourett’s Syndrome.
In the honest YouTube post, the vlogger explained that he had struggled to control the things he said since he was a child.
Among them is First Dates joker Damian Friel, who stole the hearts of the nation – and his dinner companion Kai.
Tourette’s is a neurological condition which affects the brain and nervous system, and is characterised by involuntary movements and noises called tics.
Kids normally begin showing signs of Tourette’s at between 10 and 11 years old, and the condition continues into adulthood.
The condition was named after the French doctor Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described the syndrome and its symptoms in the 19th century.
Channel 4 Damien Friel couldn’t help swearing at his First Dates match Kai
Channel 4 But he still managed to find love on the Channel 4 show
What are tics?
There are two main types of tics:
Vocal: Grunting, coughing or shouting out words
Physical: Jerking the head, or jumping up and down
Tics can also be either simple (small movements or uttering a single sound) or complex (a series of movements/phrases).
Most people who have been diagnosed with Tourette’s have a combination of physical and vocal tics.
They don’t pose a serious treat to the person’s overall health, although head jerking can be painful.
While people with Tourette’s often experience problems such as social isolation, embarrassment and low self-esteem.
What causes Tourette’s syndrome?
The cause of Tourette’s is unknown, but it’s thought to be linked to problems with a part of the brain called the basal ganglia.
In people who have Tourette’s, the basal ganglia ‘misfire’, resulting in tics.
For unknown reasons, males are more likely to be affected than females – while Tourette’s often runs in families.
Getty Images Men are more likely to have Tourette’s than women
How is Tourette’s treated?
While there is no cure for Tourette’s, treatment can help to control the symptoms and reduce the impact of tics.
The two common types of behavioural therapy are…

Habit reversal therapy: Monitoring the pattern and frequency of tics – with the aim of identifying triggers and replacing them with an alternative, less noticeable tics.
Exposure with response prevention (ERP): Increasing exposure to the urge to tic, to practice suppressing the response for longer.

In cases where tics are more frequent or severe, medication such as such as alpha2-adrenergic agonists, muscle relaxants and dopamine antagonists can help to reduce them.
In two thirds of affected people, their symptoms improve significantly around 10 years after they started.
Some people’s symptoms become less troublesome, reducing the need for medication and therapy, while in others they disappear completely.
In one third of people, the symptoms continue throughout their life. However, they should become milder – reducing the need for treatment.
What is Tourette’s Syndrome?Tourette’s is far more common that most people realise – affecting around one in every 100 people.
Tourette’s is a neurological condition which affects the brain and nervous system, and is characterised by involuntary movements and noises called tics.
Kids normally begin showing signs of Tourette’s at between 10 and 11 years old, and the condition continues into adulthood.
The condition was named after the French doctor Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described the syndrome and its symptoms in the 19th century.

How is Tourette’s linked to OCD and ADHD?
Although Tourette’s itself is not a learning difficulty, and does not affect a person’s intelligence, it is associated with a number of psychological and behavioural problems.
Around 60 per cent of people with Tourette’s also develop obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Common symptoms of OCD in kids include constantly checking things, for example that a door is locked; a desire for order and symmetry; hoarding objects with no real value; and obsessive cleaning.
In children with Tourette’s, these compulsive behaviours and tics often become combined.
Behavioural problems associated with Tourette’s:

Irritability
Anxiety
Antisocial behaviour
Flying into sudden rages
Inappropriate behaviour with others
Learning difficulties
Self-harming (less common)

While 70 per cent of people with Tourette’s also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD causes problems with attention span, controlling impulses, concentrating and planning ahead.
Affected kids often find it difficult to focus on specific tasks, and are easily distracted.
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Tourettes sufferer tries to read a kids poem and it’s hilarious 

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