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Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by rapid, involuntary movements or vocalizations — referred to as tics. TS becomes evident in early childhood or adolescence and is defined by multiple tics lasting for more than one year. An individual must experience both motor and phonic tics in order to be diagnosed with TS; however, the two types of tics do not have to occur at the same time, nor do they need to be continual. The most common initial symptom is a facial tic such as eye blinking or nose twitching.

Such involuntary tics may become more complex involving the entire body such as jumping, kicking or stamping. Other symptoms such as repetitive thoughts, movements and compulsions may occur.

Verbal tics may occur and are sometimes accompanied by movements. Such vocalizations may include grunting, shouting or throat clearing. Verbal tics may be expressed as coprolalia or the involuntary use of socially inappropriate words or phrases. However, coprolalia is less common than is usually portrayed in the media.

Conditions associated with TS may include attention deficits (ADHD or ADD); impulsiveness and oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCD) and in some cases learning disabilities.

Males are affected by Tourette Syndrome three to four times more frequently than females. People with TS can be found in all ethnic groups and all professions. The range of severity varies widely with most individuals having mild symptoms. There are no limits to the achievement level that most individuals can reach.

Increasing public awareness is of vital importance to people with the disorder.

The exact cause of Tourette Syndrome is not known, but research indicates that the root cause stems from abnormal metabolism of at least one neurotransmitter, dopamine.