Psych 111 Term Paper on Tourettes Syndrome

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  • Topic: Tourette syndrome, Tic, Tic disorder
  • Pages : 7 (2553 words )
  • Download(s) : 242
  • Published : November 2, 2008
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The symptoms were first described more than a hundred years ago by the French neurologist Gilles de la Tourette (Harvard Mental Health) , and his name has been given to the disorder now regarded as the most common cause of tics — brief intermittent involuntary or semi-voluntary movements or sounds. A diagnosis of Tourette’s syndrome (TS) requires many motor tics (movements) and at least one vocal or phonic tic (sound), with symptoms beginning before age 18 and lasting more than a year. Often the earliest signs are rapid blinking and twitching of the mouth and nose. Other motor tics are head jerking, tooth grinding, neck twisting, abnormal postures and muscle contractions. More complex movement tics include facial contortions, squatting, deep knee bends, bowing, jumping, obscene gestures and imitation of other people’s gestures. Vocal or phonic tics include sniffing, throat clearing, squeaking, barking, grunting, humming, blowing or sucking sounds, repeating one’s own or someone else’s words, and spewing obscenities which is know as coprolalia. Obscene gestures and speech are the most conspicuous, no more than 10% of people with the disorder ever have these symptoms. Yet, severity of motor and phonic tics peaks in the second decade of life, and adolescence is a period with strong emphasis on the importance of physical attractiveness. TS may thus result in greater psychopathology during adolescence than in any other stage in life. Tics are not entirely automatic. The need to perform a tic may resemble the need to sneeze or scratch an itch. There may also be a feeling of tension or tightness or a less specific urge or anxiety. Many people with TS say they have to repeat their tics until it “feels right.” Often they try to disguise tics as normal movements and sounds, or control themselves in company and then “release” the tics when they are alone. The symptoms become worse under stress, although they may also occur during sleep. Tics tend to go away during intense concentration. TS is mainly a disorder of childhood and adolescence, with the first symptoms appearing at an average age of six. About 10% of children have some tics and 1% have TS . Most tics fade by age 18, and even when they persist in adulthood, they are likely to become less severe. The is three times more common in boys than in girls, and it has a strong genetic component. The vhance that a parent, brother, sister, or child of a person with the disorder will have at least some chronic tics is about 25%. The concordance (matching) rate for TS itself is 90% in identical twins. A study done on an understanding of the clinical characteristics (Chang , 2003), in terms of general psychopathology, of TS, as it manifests in adolescent patients, and to compare these results with those of previous studies conducted in Western countries. In total, 38 male and 5 female adolescent patients who visited a pediatric neurological specialty clinic for TS between 1 January and 1 March 2003, and who met the World Health Organization criteria for TS, were studied. These patients were clinically interviewed and assessed with the Symptom-Checklist-90-R, Family APGAR and Tic Symptoms questionnaire, a self-report questionnaire based on DSM-IV TS diagnostic criteria. Among this population, the mean age of onset of motor tics was 9.65 ± 3.7 years, and motor tics of the head and eyes were usually the first symptoms to manifest; coprolalia occurred in 44.1% ( n = 19) of our patients. Many of their findings were similar to those reported in trials conducted in other regions of the world. TS symptoms showed stronger correlation with emotional distress in older patients. Individuals with TS often experience social difficulties( Marcks, 2007) which may be caused or compounded by others’ negative perceptions of persons with the disorder. As a result, researchers and clinicians have called for the development of attitude change strategies. One such strategy is preventative...
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