Tourette syndrome suspected tourette disease society planet know

Suspicion of Tourette'sDiagnosis of Tourette's syndrome is difficult and often takes years. During this time, many questions arise about the "disease of tics".

By Clara Walther

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How does the doctor come to the diagnosis?

From the first visit to the doctor to the final diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome it takes an average of seven years. For those affected, it is often bad. Because as long as the disease has no name, the doctor and patient cannot treat it either.

Neither blood tests nor other technical examinations help the doctor in his diagnosis. Instead, they rely on the affected person to describe their suffering in detail. Only if the disease is diagnosed before the age of 18. If a tic occurs before the age of 18 and the patient suffers permanently from several different tics, the doctor can clearly identify Tourette's syndrome.

The result is certain. And now?

As soon as the disease has a name, something can be done at last. And that is good. Because fast help is especially important for young patients. Children with Tourette syndrome are often teased at school. Rejected by their peers. Many parents are also overwhelmed with their children's tics, not knowing how to deal with the strange behavior.

The longer this condition lasts, the more likely it is to affect the health of young Tourette's patients: many children become withdrawn and fall into depression. Professional help can prevent it. And so it is important for Tourette's patients and their families to turn to psychological counseling centers and self-help groups as soon as possible.

Self-help groups encourage patients

School attendance despite Tourette syndrome?

Children with Tourette syndrome are usually as intelligent as their classmates. They should therefore attend a normal school and try to follow the lessons as well as possible. This is not always easy -. Unfortunately, many Tourette's patients have problems at school.

It's not just their tics that are to blame. Because about half of young Tourette's sufferers also have attention deficit disorder. Concentrated work is extremely difficult for them. Prolonged sitting still a slippery nightmare.

Medication is of little help in such cases. Because the usual substances lead to an intensification of the tics in Tourette's patients. But what seems hopeless can be controlled with patience and good will: Sometimes a front-row seat helps focus the child's attention and protect him or her from too much distraction.

A few steps across the classroom can work wonders when sitting still doesn't work anymore. Most Tourette's patients successfully graduate from high school. And they then practice the most diverse professions.

The fewer distractions, the better

Can the tics disappear?

The course of Tourette's syndrome varies from patient to patient. It is therefore very difficult to make general predictions about the course of the disease. In general, symptoms appear around the age of seven and become more severe by the age of 13. Age. Between the 16. and the 30. After the 20th birthday, the tics decrease considerably in many patients – in some they even disappear completely.

Others have to cope with their disease for a lifetime. Sometimes in stronger, sometimes in weaker form. The tics plague those affected especially when life becomes turbulent anyway. Often severe life crises, such as the death of parents or the separation from a partner, cause tics that were thought to have disappeared to suddenly reappear.

Is Tourette syndrome hereditary??

Scientists now agree that a hereditary form of Tourette's syndrome exists. The genes that trigger the syndrome are not yet known – nor do they appear to be solely responsible for the onset of the disease.

Rather, specialists suspect that problems during pregnancy and later infections (with streptococcus, for example), among other things, play an important role. In addition, the sex of the child seems to have a decisive influence. Because boys are up to ten times more likely than girls to develop tics.

To date, no doctor can tell parents with certainty whether their child will have Tourette syndrome or not. However, scientific studies show that only about ten percent of hereditarily predisposed children later have to live with a severe form of Tourette's syndrome.

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Aribert Rothenberger therefore recommends that Tourette's patients be confident in their family plans. After all, treatment methods are improving all the time.

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