Treatment for Tourette syndrome is very important. Many patients experience severe symptoms during childhood and may feel withdrawn and even suicidal. The tics must have started before the age of 18 and must be both vocal and motor. During a diagnostic evaluation, the healthcare provider will note the frequency of tics, age at which they began, and the nature of each tic. If the tics are not under control, a healthcare provider may prescribe behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. Although there are no known medications that can cure Tourette syndrome, treatment is essential.
Motor tics include eye blinking, head jerking, foot stomping, and facial grimacing. Vocal tics include repetitive sniffing or yelling, and can range from mild to severe. People with Tourette syndrome may exhibit both vocal and motor tics. They may be persistent or intermittent, and vary in severity and frequency. Sometimes, patients will experience both types of tics. They should seek medical help as soon as possible if they do not respond to standard therapies.
Physical tics are painful. Children and teens with Tourette syndrome can be victims of bullying and other forms of social rejection. Tics can be controlled, and some people are able to stop them completely in social situations. This requires concentration and practise, but the effects of a tic can be very unpleasant. If the tics are severe enough, a doctor can perform an operation to re-program the brain to prevent it from occurring.