Differentiating Tic Disorders Essay

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Differentiating Tic Disorders

Is it possible to differentiate Tourette tics from non-Tourette tics? Are all tics the same? What is a tic? What does a tic feel like? How does "ticcing" affect a person's sense of self or "I-Function"? Are Tic Disorders Inherited?

A tic is a repetitive, uncontrollable, purposeless contraction of an individual muscle or group of muscles, usually in the face, arms, or shoulders. These movements may be signs of a minor psychological disturbance. Such tics often occur in childhood and will probably be outgrown. There are also tics that are caused by neurological disorders that could have resulted from brain damage at birth, head trauma, or use of some specific medication (1). Tic disorders may be
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These tics are more noticeable during stressful, fatiguing or emotional times (2). Boys are three to four times more likely to be affected than girls. Transient tics usually do not last for more than one year, although it is not uncommon to have these episodes over the course of several years. For many children, the symptoms never go beyond blinking and sniffing (or similar choices) and are often described as "nervous habits" or allergy symptoms.

Chronic tic disorders are differentiated from transient tic disorders in that their duration is over many years and the behavior is unchanging. With transient tic disorder, the tic may change from one type to another, (sniffing may be replaced by forehead furrowing and then the furrowing is replaced by finger snapping), while in chronic tic disorder the tic remains the same for a very long time.

Chronic multiple tics present often, and in series. Sometimes it is difficult to draw distinctions between transient, chronic and chronic multiple tics (2).

Tourette Syndrome (TS), first described by Gilles de la Tourette, can be the most debilitating of the tic disorders and is characterized by multiform, frequently changing motor and vocal or phonic tics. There are multiple diagnostic criteria, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV.

A. In Tourette Syndrome, both multiple motor and vocal tics have been present at some time
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