Uncontrollable Tics


Ashma Shrestha
B.Sc. Microbiology fourth year

How would you feel if you had no control over certain movements of your body? How would you react if I say there are people or teens around the globe going through a rather old but unknown disorder? Yes, there is a neuropsychiatric disorder known as Tourette syndrome (TS): where one has repetitive multiple motor tics and at least one phonic (vocal) tic. In simple words, tic is a condition where one losses control on movement in their certain muscles and there will continuous and nonrhythmic movement of those muscles. The muscle known to be voluntary becomes involuntary. Among the people diagnosed with this syndrome less than10 percent swears, which is known as coprolalia. These tics include repetitive blinking of eyes, coughing, throat clearing, etc.

It was first identified or diagnosed by French physician and neurologist Georges Gills de la Tourette: TS named after him, as he published an account of 9 persons with this disorder in 1885. This syndrome is quite rare and appears in some form in one in hundred children similar to that of autism. TS are usually observed in children of 5-10 years of age and motor tics develop in most of the cases. As the title clears it out TS cannot be controlled but can be suppressed for sometime but if suppressed for longer can cause tension or physical exhaustion. Patient with TS are suggested to be as calm as they can be because these tics increases at times of excitement and nervousness. Currently there’s no specific cure for the syndrome. Along with this syndrome other co-morbid conditions like ADHD, OCD, Anxiety disorder etc. are observed in about 79 percent of the cases.

This disorder does not affect the intelligence of the people; in fact it is found that children with this disorder have normal to higher IQ. At times, TS is considered as behavioral problem of the child where they are asked to correct this behavior. But people do not seem to understand that it is something they cannot suppress and suppressing may cause different other problems in them. Usually difficulty is seen during classes as keeping calm is much difficult for the child. When the tics start developing, parents should have clear understanding about these and should be able to make their child able to understand what is happening in their body and how it is normal. Every child going through this should be treated equally to children without this disorder. People should understand it is as normal as having cold. Child with this problem should be excused every time their tics take over.

Source: www.cdc.gov, scotens.org

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