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If you have Tourette syndrome, you make unusual movements or sounds, called tics. You have little or no control over them. Common tics are throat-clearing and blinking. You may repeat words, spin, or, rarely, blurt out swear words.
Tourette syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system. It often occurs with other problems, such as
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
The cause of Tourette syndrome is unknown. It is more common in boys than girls. The tics usually start in childhood and may be worst in the early teens. Many people eventually outgrow them.
No treatment is needed unless the tics interfere with everyday life. Excitement or worry can make tics worse. Calm, focused activities may make them better. Medicines and talk therapy may also help.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Stuttering and Tourette's Syndrome (Stuttering Foundation of America) Available in Spanish
- Tourette Syndrome (TS): Other Concerns and Conditions (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Tourette Syndrome (TS): Risk Factors and Causes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Genetics Home Reference: Tourette syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
Statistics and Research
- Tourette Syndrome (TS): Data and Statistics (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Tourette Syndrome (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Habitual and goal-directed behaviours and Tourette syndrome.
- Article: Centromedian-Parafascicular Complex Deep Brain Stimulation for Tourette Syndrome: A Retrospective Study.
- Article: Cognition, Emotion and Behavior in Children with Tourette's Syndrome and...
- Tourette Syndrome -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Find a Neurologist (American Academy of Neurology)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish
- Tourette Association Chapters (Tourette Association of America)
- Kids' Quest: Tourette (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Tics and Tourette Syndrome (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- Tics, Tourette Syndrome, and OCD (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Tourette Syndrome (Nemours Foundation)
- Tourette Syndrome (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Later in Life (Tourette Association of America)