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Author Topic: What is the difference between a simple tic disorder and Tourrettes?  (Read 15058 times)

Offline Carolyn

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My daughter had facial & vocal tics starting around age 12.  Occasionally her head would jerk somewhat violently.  The tics lasted all throughout junior high and high school.  The doctor said she had Transient Tic Disorder and would eventually outgrow it.  It seemed to get much better after she graduated from high school.

She's 20 now and the last 2 times she's come home from college to visit I've noticed the facial tics have returned and are worse than ever.  Her right eye blinks uncontrollably for a few seconds and then her head jerks slightly.  This happens frequently, several times a day.  So far I haven't noticed any vocal tics.

There is no family history of Tourrettes or any other tic disorder, although my niece (my brothers daughter) also had facial tics for a few years but she seems to have outgrown hers.

We're trying to get her in to see a specialist but it's taking forever and although I'm trying to convince her there's nothing to worry about, I'm worried sick.  I'm rapidly running out of patience waiting on the doctors!

Could Transient Tic Disorder still be going on after 8 years or does this sound like Tourrettes or possibly another tic disorder not as serious?
« Last Edit: 11/10/2008 19:58:13 by Carolyn »


 

Offline RD

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Diagnostic Features

The essential features of Tourette's Disorder are multiple motor tics and one or more vocal tics (Criterion A). These may appear simultaneously or at different periods during the illness. The tics occur many times a day, recurrently throughout a period of more than 1 year. During this period, there is never a tic-free period of more than 3 consecutive months. (Criterion B). The onset of the disorder is before age 18 years (Criterion C). The tics are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., stimulants) or a general medical condition (e.g., Huntington's disease or postviral encephalitis) (Criterion D).

Differential diagnosis

Most conditions that may be confused with Tourette syndrome are on the same spectrum (e.g. transient tic disorder, chronic tic disorder), and differ from Tourette syndrome with respect to either the duration of tics or the absence of both motor and vocal tics.
http://www.tourettes-disorder.com/dsm.html


Quote
Tic disorders are classified as follows:

Transient tic disorder consists of multiple motor and/or phonic tics with duration of at least 4 weeks, but less than 12 months.
Chronic tic disorder is either single or multiple motor or phonic tics, but not both, which are present for more than a year.
Tourette's disorder is diagnosed when both motor and phonic tics are present for more than a year.
Tic Disorder NOS is diagnosed when tics are present, but do not meet the criteria for any specific tic disorder.
Tic disorders onset in childhood (before the age of 18), and are not due to the effects of medication or another medical condition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tic_disorder
 

Offline Carolyn

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Thank's for the info RD.  Yesterday she was outside chatting with a neighbor and I noticed her head and shoulders started jerking and also during dinner last night I heard the vocal tics.  They were very faint, but definitely there.  Maybe I've become so used to them that I over time I just didn't notice them as much.

We still have not gotten in to see the neurologist or the psychiatrist...she's on a waiting list.... but we saw a counselor today and she gave us an 'unofficial' diagnosis of Tourrettes.

We still know very little about this disease/disorder, but my daughter is terrified now.  She's scared she'll become an extreme case where she blurts out obscenities at complete strangers, and afraid she won' be able to complete college or become a teacher or even lead a normal life.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Hang in there Carolyn.. Sending you all hugs and wishing the best for your beautiful baby girl! Keep us posted . hugs to you all!
 

Offline RD

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We still know very little about this disease/disorder, but my daughter is terrified now.
 She's scared she'll become an extreme case where she blurts out obscenities at complete strangers

Only a minority of people with Tourette's swear...

Quote
Coprolalia is involuntary swearing or the involuntary utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks...
According to the Tourette Syndrome Association, fewer than 15% of Tourette syndrome patients exhibit coprolalia,
 but it tends to attract more attention than any other symptom.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprolalia


This documentary is about school age children with Tourette's, but it may still be of interest.
« Last Edit: 15/10/2008 23:44:31 by RD »
 

Offline Carolyn

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Hang in there Carolyn.. Sending you all hugs and wishing the best for your beautiful baby girl! Keep us posted . hugs to you all!

Thanks Karen.
 

Offline Carolyn

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We still know very little about this disease/disorder, but my daughter is terrified now.
 She's scared she'll become an extreme case where she blurts out obscenities at complete strangers

Only a minority of people with Tourette's swear...

Quote
Coprolalia is involuntary swearing or the involuntary utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks...
According to the Tourette Syndrome Association, fewer than 15% of Tourette syndrome patients exhibit coprolalia,
 but it tends to attract more attention than any other symptom.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprolalia


This documentary is about school age children with Tourette's, but it may still be of interest.

Thanks again RD.  She went back to school today, but I have forwarded the link to the video to her.  Her tics were never as severe as those children, however they were severe enough for people to notice it and stare at her.  I had hoped that hers would be mild enough to not require medication, but this latest set of tics that she's developed are causing her pain.  It's making her face and her eye hurt, which is causing her more stress, which makes the tics worse.


I've spent a lot of time the last few days researching this and it's causes.  I read that one of the causes could be having a mother that suffered severe nausea and vomiting & stress during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Someone else told me today that having a mother that took birth control pills could be a cause as well, though I haven't found anything on this.  I vomited every day during my pregnancy and several times a day during the first trimester.  I was also on the pill when I got pregnant with her.  So now I'm wondering, did I cause my daughter to have this?
 

Offline RD

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I've spent a lot of time the last few days researching this and it's causes.  I read that one of the causes could be having a mother that suffered severe nausea and vomiting & stress during the first trimester of pregnancy.  Someone else told me today that having a mother that took birth control pills could be a cause as well, though I haven't found anything on this.  I vomited every day during my pregnancy and several times a day during the first trimester.  I was also on the pill when I got pregnant with her.  So now I'm wondering, did I cause my daughter to have this?

The origin of Tourette's appears to be genetic rather than environmental...

Quote
A person with Tourette's has about a 50% chance of passing the gene(s) to one of his or her children, but Tourette's is a condition of variable expression and incomplete penetrance. Thus, not everyone who inherits the genetic vulnerability will show symptoms; even close family members may show different severities of symptoms, or no symptoms at all. The gene(s) may express as Tourette's, as a milder tic disorder (transient or chronic tics), or as obsessive compulsive symptoms without tics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourette_syndrome


Nausea is normal in early pregnancy...
Quote
Nausea and vomiting are common problems in early pregnancy. Although often called “morning sickness”, nausea and vomiting can occur at any time of day and may persist throughout the day. [1] Symptoms usually begin between 4 weeks' and 7 weeks' gestation (1 study found this to be the case in 70% of affected women)
http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/conditions/pac/1405/1405_background.jsp
« Last Edit: 16/10/2008 07:38:42 by RD »
 

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