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According to the Tourette Association of America, Tourette Syndrome is one type of Tic Disorder. Tics are involuntary, repetitive movements and vocalizations. They are the defining feature of a group of childhood-onset, neurodevelopmental conditions known collectively as Tic Disorders. Individuals with Tourette Syndrome (TS) have had at least two motor tics and at least one vocal/phonic tic in some combination over the course of more than a year.

Motor Tics

Motor tics are movements. Simple motor tics include but are not limited to:

  • Eye blinking
  • Facial grimacing
  • Jaw movements
  • Head bobbing/jerking
  • Shoulder shrugging
  • Neck stretching
  • Arm jerking

Vocal/Phonic Tics

Vocal (phonic) tics produce a sound. Simple vocal tics include but are not limited to:

  • Sniffing
  • Throat clearing
  • Grunting
  • Hooting
  • Shouting

Appearance and Severity

Tics typically emerge between the ages of 5-7 years, most often with a motor tic of the head and neck region. They tend to increase in frequency and severity between the ages of 8-12 years. Most people with TS show noticeable improvement in late adolescence, with some becoming tic-free. A minority of people with TS continue to have persistent, severe tics in adulthood.

When tics become problematic or interfere with daily functioning, behavioral treatment or medication may be considered. Currently, scientists are working to uncover the possible causes and potential new treatments for Tourette Syndrome


The Atlanta Center for Medical Research was founded in 1982 by Dr. Robert A. Riesenberg and is now one of the largest and most respected medical research institutions in the country. ACMR’s 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, open-source research facility is a game changer for the medical research world. ACMR’s practices set the standard for medical research, facilitating the availability of safe and effective medicine to people everywhere.

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