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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Tourette syndrome

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* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome
  • Tourette disorder
  • Tourette's syndrome
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Overview


Tourette syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system that causes a person to make repeated and uncontrolled (involuntary) movements and sounds (vocalizations) called tics. Tourette syndrome is named for Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described this disorder in 1885. There is strong evidence that Tourette syndrome is passed down through families, although the gene has not yet been found. The syndrome may be linked to problems in certain areas of the brain, and the chemical substances (dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine) that help nerve cells talk to one another. Tourette syndrome can be either severe or mild. It is estimated that about 1% of the population has Tourette syndrome.[1] Many people with very mild tics may not be aware of them and never seek medical help.   Tourette syndrome is four times as likely to occur in boys as in girls.[2]  Although Tourette syndrome can be a chronic condition with symptoms lasting a lifetime, most people with the condition experience their worst symptoms in their early teens, with improvement occurring in the late teens and continuing into adulthood.[3]

Last updated: 7/14/2011

References

  1. Mary Robertson. The prevalence and epidemiology of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome Part 1: The epidemiological and prevalence studies.. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. March 11, 2008;
  2. Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. MedlinePlus. 2009; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000733.htm. Accessed 2/24/2010.
  3. Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). 2010 ; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm. Accessed 2/24/2010.
Your Questions Answered
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3 question(s) from the public on Tourette syndrome have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Tourette syndrome. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

General Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Tourette syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.