"Tourette Syndrome" By Alexander Schmit. Essay

977 words - 4 pages

Tourette syndrome is a genetic neurological disorder that affects an individual person in and involuntary movements and unexpected vocalizations that are known as tics. In a few cases these vocalizations can include some random inappropriate words or phrases. These outbursts are unintentional and have no purpose. Involuntary movements are as the following: eye blinking, throat clearing, sniffing, arm thrusting, kicking movements, shoulder shrugging or jumping. The disorder affects all ethnic groups affecting men three to four times more than women. Most people with tourette syndrome lead productive lives in all professions.Symptoms of tourette syndrome include having many motor and/or vocalization tics present at some time during the time of illness. The occurrence of tics continues for everyday throughout a span of over a year. The severity of tics changes periodically in frequency, type, and location. Symptoms of tics can disappear for weeks or even months at a time with reappearance of symptoms unknown. Tics usually appear by the time a person reaches the age of 18. Most people with tics do have control over their tics to a certain degree, but only until they can express their symptoms somewhere they feel comfortable doing so. Tics symptoms generally increase as a result of increased tension or stress. This disorder can be classified from rather mild to quite severe. The majority of most people classified with tourette syndrome are categorized as having a mild case.Causes of tics are unknown, but current research shows a pattern that the disorder comes from abnormal metabolism in dopamine, a brain chemical or neurotransmitter. Other neurotransmitters such as serotonin are involved.Tourette syndrome is diagnosed by observing several symptoms and their history. No blood tests are performed to evaluate tourette syndrome, but a physician may want to perform a CAT scan, or other tests to rule out the possibility of any other disease. A ratings scale can assess the severity of tics.The most common first symptom of tics would be facial tics, usually rapid eye blinking. With time more motor tics may begin to appear such as head jerking, neck stretching, foot stamping, or body twisting. A person with the disorder may continuously clear his/her throat, cough, sniff, grunt, yelp, bark, shout, or perform other actions. Someone diagnosed with tourette syndrome may touch other people excessively, or repeat actions obsessively. The range of these tics is very broad, and others may find it hard to believe these actions are involuntary.The majority of individuals with tourette syndrome is not disabled as a result of their tics, and is not prescribed with medications. Medications are available to help individuals treat tics interfering with normal body functions, but otherwise drugs may be useless causing long and short-term side effects. Drugs that do control symptoms vary for each patient. Some reactions to medications are weight gain, muscular rigidity,...

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