ABC Medical Center > Tourette syndrome

What is Tourette syndrome?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a nervous condition in which sound or movement tics manifest involuntarily, causing excessive blinking, repetitive movements of the hands and arms, as well as the articulation of strange noises or rudeness.

These tics begin to appear from the first years of the child’s life until the age of 16, manifesting more frequently in boys.

The origin of this condition has not yet been identified, but it is known that genetic and environmental factors affect its appearance, since they can cause abnormalities in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

It is an incurable disease, but its effects can be controlled. In children who experience mild symptoms, these tend to diminish after the age of 10, making them easier to control.

Signs and symptoms Tourette syndrome

The characteristic symptoms of involuntary sound and movement tics that affect communication and socialization abilities, influencing daily activities are tics such as:

  • Blinks.
  • Shrugged shoulders.
  • Rapid eye movement.
  • Oral gesture.
  • Nose movement.
  • Head shakes.
  • Obscene gesture.
  • Systematically walk the same way.
  • Jumping.
  • Snorts.
  • Coughing fits.
  • Barking or guttural sounds.
  • Profanity.
  • Repeat sentences.

The possible complications that Tourette syndrome can cause are:

  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Headaches.
  • Fits of rage
  • Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Learning problems.

Diagnosis and treatment Tourette syndrome

Once the doctor analyzes your child’s symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination and a series of imaging studies such as MRI and computed tomography, as well as blood tests, to detect any underlying condition and confirm the diagnosis.

As it is an incurable disease, treatment focuses on symptom control, in this case, tics, as well as preventing possible complications.

To do this, your child will be prescribed drugs to block dopamine, fight attention deficit, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants, as well as the application of intramuscular Botox in the areas affected by tics.

Additionally, your child will need:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapies to help control its tics.
  • Psychotherapy to learn to deal with the emotional and mental effects of this syndrome.
  • Deep brain stimulation to treat tics that have not been controlled with other treatments through small electric shocks in specific areas.

At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.


Nervous system specialties

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging


  • tourette.org
  • topdoctors.es
  • mayocilinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Guzmán-González J, Arroyo-Medrano MM, Villaseñor-Cabrera T. Desempeño neuropsicológico en un adolescente con síndrome de Tourette. Estudio de caso. Sal Jal. 2021;8(1):59-65.
  • Irigoyen FD. Sindrome de Gilles de la Tourette. Rev Med Cos Cen. 2010;67(591):19-22.
  • Díaz-Anzaldúa A, Rouleau GA. A closer look at the history and genetics of Tourette syndrome. Salud Mental. 2008;31(2):103-110.
  • Arellano PM. Mozart y el síndrome de Tourette. Una breve biografía médica. Rev Fac Med UNAM . 2012;55(6):43-46.

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