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Tourette syndrome

Tourette syndrome is a chronic illness, which is also known as Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Tourette syndrome consists of involuntary movements, jerks or spasms and involuntary sounds. The illness is four times as common in boys as in girls.

What is Tourette syndrome?

Tourette syndrome is characterized by various motor tics and one or more verbal tics. There is a tendency for the involuntary movements and sounds to increase in intensity when you are under pressure. The motor and verbal tics can lead to misunderstandings, and children with Tourette syndrome can be seen as misbehaved and ill bred.

Tourette is caused by a disorder in the neurotransmitters in the brain and is a neurological illness. The illness is thought to be caused by hereditary factors.


The motor tics are involuntary muscle movements such as spasms in eyes and face, kicking of limbs or snapping of fingers. The verbal tics are unintentional sounds or words such as inarticulate, sudden sounds, muttering, sniffling, grunting or howling, but also as repeating what other people say.
If other illnesses, such as OCD, depression, ADHD and Asperger’s, are present, the illness is classified as Tourette+.


Some children can be helped by behavioural therapy, but in more serious cases medical treatment can be necessary. It is possible to get medicine that can alleviate the movements.

Find more information here: 

National Health Service (UK)
The Patient Handbook (in Danish)

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