Some history…

Tourette’s Syndrome is also known as Tourette Syndrome, Tourette’s disorder, or simply Tourette. Tourette’s Syndrome is believed to be an inherited neurological disorder that becomes active during the early stages of childhood. The exact causes of Tourette’s Syndrome remain unknown, but there is a great amount of medical research currently being conducted to determine the causes.

Tourette’s Syndrome is often characterized by a series of physical and at least one verbal tic. These tics often vary in severity, but it is common for a child suffering of Tourette’s Syndrome to have good days where tics may be not be noticeable and other days where the tics take up the majority of the child’s attention.

It was once believed that Tourette’s Syndrome was a rare or bizarre Syndrome. Many of the early diagnoses of Tourette’s Syndrome only included patients that were severely suffering and most of the patients who were diagnosed as having Tourette’s were only experiencing vocal tics. It was later discovered that this particular symptom or tic is only present in a small percentage of the people afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome. Many people, including children, may only suffer from small and minor physical tics. In children, these small physical tics may disappear as the child approaches adulthood. Nearly 1 in 100 children suffer from some form of Tourette’s Syndrome. The vast majority of these cases have been considered mild disorders and will go away with time and development.

A French doctor named Dr. Tourette reported the first case of Tourette’s Syndrome in 1825 with a patient named Marquise de Dampierre. Dampierre was a very prominent and wealthy noblewoman in her time, well known by others in high society. An influential French physician assigned one of his resident doctors and neurologists, Georges Albert Édouard Brutus Gilles de la Tourette, to study Marquise, as it was believed that she was suffering from an illness extremely different from hysteria or dementia. It was through studying this noblewoman that Dr. Tourette was able to discover the distinct differences between the other currently known mental illnesses and the particular disorder being experienced by Dampierre.

Dr. Tourette found others with similar problems to Dampierre and continued studying them. It was not until 1885 that Dr. Tourette first published his account of nine separate patients. The article was titled, “Study of the Nervous Affliction.” Through this publication, Dr. Tourette concluded it was now necessary to create a new clinical category and named the Syndrome experienced by Dampierre: Tourette’s Syndrome.

Interestingly, he was quite right that this Syndrome is a “nervous affliction.” The Syndrome is definitely a neurological disorder and relates to how the nervous system interacts with the rest of the body. Even in the 1800’s, Dr. Tourette was capable of noticing the connection.

Even though Tourette’s Syndrome was recognized as a specific affliction, there was very little progress during the following century to assist in explaining a reason behind the different tics or what exactly caused Tourette’s Syndrome. They also had very little in methods of how to treat such patients and many of these afflicted persons simply lived with their symptoms.

Added to this lack of knowledge and therapy was the fact that few people were aware of the Syndrome to begin with. As most people did not know what Tourette’s was or why it happened, they often reacted unfavorably when faced with a person afflicted with the disorder. They might react in fear, anger, frustration, or in other negative manners, which greatly increased the afflicted person’s stress levels and thereby, causing the symptoms to increase in severity.

A turning point came in the research about Tourette’s Syndrome in 1965 when Arthur K. Shapiro began treating a Tourette’s patient with a medication that had been newly applied to psychoactive patients and was still currently undergoing research, haloperidol. Shapiro later published a study, which indicated that new methods needed to be considered for treatment of all tic-related symptoms. He also criticized the generally accepted psychoanalytic approach and the research currently conducted on Tourette’s.

In the 1990s, medical research created a more neutral view of Tourette’s Syndrome, which helped the at-risk people in increasing the understanding of their exact vulnerability. During the research that took place in the 1990s, it was discovered that, while there are specific biological vulnerabilities, it is possible that adverse environmental effects greatly influenced the likelihood of Tourette’s and severity of symptoms for any of its Syndrome. There was such an increase in understanding of Tourette’s Syndrome as well as all tic related disorders by 2000 that the American Psychiatric Association published a statement that these symptoms or disorders unnecessarily cause distress or impair functioning. This made it possible for many people suffering for current Syndrome to live more of a normal lifestyle.

Many questions remain regarding how exactly Tourette’s Syndrome will be classified. It is also still yet to be determined how Tourette’s Syndrome is related to other similar movement disorders or other unrelated psychiatric disorders. Over the last 20 years, there has been a great amount of research conducted and amazing advancements in potential treatments. Even so, there are currently no available treatments that are completely risk-free and many of the different available treatment options can result in more severe symptoms or are completely intolerable.

If you or someone you care for is affected by TS you can have a look at my Guide: End Your Child’s Tics With Diet Change. I developed the guide after years of research into the natural treatments and after speaking with many specialists in both holistic and traditional medicine.

Till next time….

God Bless,


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© Mary Anderson 2018.