The exact cause of Tourette syndrome isn't known, and there's no known way to prevent it. Tourette is a complex syndrome, likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Theories about the causes of Tourette include:

  • Genetics. Tourette syndrome may be an inherited disorder. The specific genes involved in Tourette syndrome are still being defined, although one genetic mutation has been identified as a rare cause of Tourette syndrome.
  • Brain abnormalities. Certain chemicals in the brain that transmit nerve impulses (neurotransmitters) may play a role, including dopamine and serotonin.
Aug. 10, 2012