June 13, 2023
“The diagnosis of Tourette syndrome is based on a physical examination and a review of the child’s medical history, according to the criteria given by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). In some cases, additional medical tests may be requested to rule out other conditions that suggest Tourette syndrome without being Tourette syndrome. The most frequent complications of Tourette syndrome are social and emotional problems such as bullying, anxiety, and depression,” says Dr. Pamela Muñoz, a pediatric neurologist at our clinic.
What is Tourette syndrome?
It is a neurological disorder that can appear in childhood or before the age of 18 years. It is distinguished by numerous tics of movements and sounds (abrupt, repetitive, and uncontrollable) that last for more than a year. For example, the affected person may repeat blinking, shrugging of shoulders, strange sounds, or rude words.
How does it appear in children?
Tics are divided into simple and complex and may involve movements (motor tics) or sounds (vocal tics). These tics vary in type, frequency, and intensity.
Before the onset of motor or vocal tics, an uncomfortable bodily sensation (premonitory impulse) such as itching, tingling, or tension may be felt. With great effort, some people with Tourette syndrome can stop or temporarily contain a tic.
What diagnoses are usually associated with Tourette syndrome?
When to see a specialist?
If tics are frequent, intense or interfere with communication, daily functioning and quality of life, consultation with a neurologist and psychiatrist is advised, especially if accompanied by other conditions.
Dr. Pamela Muñoz
Pediatric neurologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma