Tourette Syndrome

Child Neurology practice in Pasadena, CA

Tourette Syndrome services offered in Pasadena, CA

Tourette syndrome affects as many as 1 in 162 American children today. If your child has Tourette syndrome, AMS Neurology specialist Charles Niesen, MD, can help at the Pasadena, California, office. Effective tic treatments are available, so you can help your child to live free from the frustrating and upsetting issues of Tourette syndrome. Call the office or click on the online booking tool to arrange an evaluation now. 

Tourette Syndrome Q & A

What is Tourette syndrome?

Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder in which a child experiences involuntary movements or vocalizations called tics. Most children with Tourette syndrome experience symptoms before age seven. The average age of diagnosis is usually age 9-11 when the symptoms typically peak. 

About 85% of children with Tourette syndrome experience symptom lessening during their teenage years. The symptoms may resolve as an adult. However, they can worsen in rare cases as a child grows up. 

What kind of tics does Tourette syndrome cause?

Tourette syndrome causes two main categories of tics.

Motor tics

Motor tics involve body movements, such as blinking, jerky limb movements, hopping, or shoulder shrugging. 

Vocal tics

Vocal tics include noises, such as grunting, throat clearing, sniffing, or snorting. 

Motor and vocal tics can be either simple or complex. Simple tics involve just one action while complex tics combine actions. 

For example, a simple vocal tic may involve snorting while a complex vocal tic may involve shouting words, repeating words, or using obscene words. 

Similarly, a simple motor tic may involve blinking, while a complex motor tic may include blinking along with shrugging or other combined actions. 

How is Tourette syndrome diagnosed?

The AMS Neurology specialists examine your child, review your child’s medical history, and carefully review all their symptoms to determine whether your child has Tourette syndrome. 

Your child’s provider asks how long they’ve had the tic, how often it happens, and whether there have been any tic-free periods, as that can help them to determine whether it’s Tourette syndrome or another disorder. 

More than 83% of children with Tourette syndrome also have another disorder. A few of the most common coexisting disorders include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disorders, and autism. Your child’s AMS Neurology provider evaluates every aspect of their health to determine whether your child has other disorders that they may need help with. 

How is Tourette syndrome treated?

Tourette syndrome treatment can vary with the individual. If your child’s tic causes problems at home, school, or socially, tic treatments can help. 

The right medications and behavioral approaches can help to protect your child’s health while allowing them to grow up without the worry, embarrassment, and stress that tics can cause.

For Tourette syndrome diagnosis and management from pediatric neurologist experts, call AMS Neurology or reach out online.