What is Tourettes Syndrome?

Tourette syndrome (also called Tourette’s syndrome, Tourette’s disorder, Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, GTS or, more commonly, simply Tourette’s or TS) is an inherited neurological disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by the presence of multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic; these tics characteristically wax and wane.

The exact cause of Tourette’s is unknown, but it is well established that both genetic and environmental factors are involved. Genetic studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of cases of Tourette’s are inherited, although the exact mode of inheritance is not yet known, and no gene has been identified.

Tourette’s was once considered a rare and bizarre syndrome, most often associated with the exclamation of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks (coprolalia). However, this symptom is present in only a small minority of people with Tourette’s.
A person with Tourette’s has about a 50% chance of passing the gene(s) to one of his or her children.

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