Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a condition that causes people to make repeated, quick movements or sounds that they cannot control. These movements or sounds are called tics.
The condition is commonly called Tourette syndrome.
Tourette syndrome is named for Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described this disorder in 1885. There is strong evidence that Tourette syndrome is passed down through families, although the gene has not yet been found.
The syndrome may be linked to problems in certain areas of the brain. It may have to do with chemical substances (dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine) that help nerve cells talk to one another.
Tourette syndrome can be either severe or mild. About 10% of Americans have a mild tic disorder. Far fewer people have more severe forms of Tourette syndrome. Many people with very mild tics may not be aware of them and never seek medical help.
Tourette syndrome is four times as likely to occur in boys as in girls.
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