Tourette’s Syndrome
Friday, September 18, 2009

Tourette's syndrome — also called Tourette's disorder — was once believed to be very rare. Dr. Edward Hill discusses research from the Centers for Disease Control that look at the prevalance of the disorder in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Tourette’s syndrome affects three out of every 1,000 children between ages 6 and 17 in the United States.

According to research by the Centers for Disease Control, Tourette’s syndrome is three times more common in boys than in girls, and about twice as common in children 12 to 17 as in those 6 to 11.

Twenty-seven percent of children with Tourette’s syndrome have moderate or severe cases, and 79 percent of youngsters who have it also have been diagnosed with at least one additional mental health or neurodevelopmental condition.

Tourette’s syndrome typically starts in childhood and is characterized by recurring multiple motor tics, and at least one vocal tic. Symptoms are generally most severe between 10 and 12 years of age and lessen by adulthood.

These are involuntary, repetitive, stereotyped, usually sudden and rapid movements or vocalizations that may be suppressed for short periods of time.

An estimate of the number of children who are diagnosed with Tourette’s is a good first step toward understanding the overall impact of this condition, researchers say.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.