Taking a look at Tourette Syndrome

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Tourette syndrome (TS) is a disorder of the brain that is observed in people who have involuntary movements or vocalizations called tics. Named after Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette who first discovered this disorder, this French neurologist described a noblewoman who exhibited these symptoms in 1885. These tics could range from repetitive movements to inappropriate vocalizations. Early symptoms of Tourette syndrome occur in children at around 3 and 9 years and occur in equal percentages in all ethnic groups. However, TS occurs more often in males than females with over 200,000 Americans having severe TS. The reason for this is because the syndrome is a dominant trait genetically passed down on the X chromosome. Since males have only one X chromosome, they are more likely to have it than females, specifically three times more likely. Even though TS is chronic, most people who are diagnosed early can live a more improved lifestyle for the rest of their lives. The first reported case of Tourette syndrome in history was in 1825, when Jean Gaspard Itard wrote about French noblewoman Marquise de Dampierre in one of his journals. In one of his entries, he documented a time when she uttered a lot of swear words in public, to the shock of all her friends and family. After his writings, Madam Dampierre was rediscovered by Dr. George Gilles de la Tourette in 1885. This French neurologist described similar patients like the Madam Dampierre. His patients all twitched wildly.
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