Tourette's syndrome is "a genetic, neurological disorder characterized by motor and vocal tics and associated behavioral features including obsessions and compulsions and hyperactivity" (Strickland "Tourette Syndrome" Gale). Tourette's syndrome is named after George Gilles de la Tourette, who was a French physician. He described this condition over a century ago (Newton "Tourette Syndrome" Sick). Although Tourette's is not fatal, it is a very common disorder that affects many people in many different ways.
The first time Tourette's was ever found in a person was in 1825. A French noble woman named Marquise de Dampierre first showed symptoms when she was only seven years old (Robertson "Gilles de la Tourette's Syndrome" Database). Tourette's today is seen throughout the world in every race. About one in 2,000 people are affected by Tourette's, males more than females. Around 100,000 people in the United States today have symptoms of Tourette's (Zamula "Taming Tourette's Tics and Twitches" Database). Tourette's is a genetic disorder which usually shows up by the age of 18. Around one percent of mainstream school children are affected by the disorder (Robertson "Gilles de la Tourette's Syndrome" Database).
There is a non-profit research organization which studies the syndrome, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke ("Tourette's Syndrome"
Tourette Syndrome). There is also a Tourette Syndrome Association which is an organization for people with Tourette's Syndrome, their families, friends, physicians, nurses, teachers, psychologists, social workers, and other professionals. This association was founded in 1972 (Turkington "Tourette's Syndrome" The Encyclopedia of the Brain and Brain Disorders).
There are two different types of tics - simple and complex. A simple tic is one that involves isolated movements such as blinking, kicking, and twitching. A complex movement is not isolated. It is like kicking, hitting, biting,... [continues]
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