Tourette syndrome is a neurological condition that begins in childhood in which individuals have a series of different repetitive movements or sounds that persist uninterrupted for more than a year and usually last many years.
Tourette syndrome can run in families. It is very important for people with Tourette syndrome to become informed about the diagnosis by reading good books or websites.
Transient tic disorder is diagnosed when children have one or more tics for a short period of time, or short periods of time. In some children, symptoms will continue, so the Tourette syndrome diagnosis applies; many others will not have continued symptoms.
Brief periods of tics in childhood currently cannot be explained in most cases and often require no diagnostic testing or treatment. Particularly in children under 8, these have few or no social consequences and do not interfere with the child’s quality of life.
Tics in young children are common. Tics should usually be ignored if there are no other medical, physical or emotional problems.
Tics are common in older children with psychiatric problems such as anxiety. Sometimes medications may contribute to tics.