Tourette (too-RET) syndrome is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that starts in childhood. It involves unusual repetitive movements or unwanted sounds that can't be controlled (tics). For instance, you may repeatedly blink your eyes, shrug your shoulders or jerk your head. In some cases, you might unintentionally blurt out offensive words.
Signs and symptoms of Tourette syndrome typically show up between ages 2 and 12, with the average being around 7 years of age. Males are about three to four times more likely than females to develop Tourette syndrome.
Although there's no cure, you can live a normal life span with Tourette syndrome, and many people with Tourette syndrome don't need treatment when symptoms aren't troublesome. Symptoms of Tourette syndrome often lessen or become quiet and controlled after the teen years.
Aug. 10, 2012
- Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed June 26, 2012.
- Jankovic J. Tourette syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 25, 2012.
- Tourette syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm. Accessed June 25, 2012.
- Bloch MH, et al. Clinical course of Tourette syndrome. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2009;67:497.
- 5. Kurlan R. Tourette's syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;363:2332.
- McNaught KS, et al. Advances in understanding and treatment of Tourette syndrome. Nature Reviews Neurology. 2011;7:667.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 6, 2012.
- O'Rourke JA, et al. The genetics of Tourette syndrome: A review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2009;67:533.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.