What is Tourette syndrome (TS)?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: William C Robertson, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP  more...
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Tourette syndrome (TS) is a common genetic neurological disorder characterized by chronic motor and vocal tics beginning before adulthood. [1, 2, 3, 4] Affected individuals typically have repetitive, stereotyped movements or vocalizations, such as blinking, sniffing, facial movements, or tensing of the abdominal musculature.

Other neurobehavioral manifestations include attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, poor impulse control, and other behavioral problems. Symptoms wax and wane and vary significantly from one patient to another. Although diagnosis requires the presence of chronic multiple independent motor tics and at least one phonic tic, these are not always the patient's most disabling symptom.

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