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Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Tourette's disorder (TD)

Tourette's disorder (TD) is a condition in which a person has spasms, also called tics, that typically include blinking, frowning, jerking the head, and raising or jerking the arms or shoulders. A person may also make unusual sounds, such as grunting or snorting, or shout words (sometimes obscenities).

Symptoms of TD first develop during childhood and become most severe at about age 12. In most children, tics become less severe or go away completely in the teen years. But tics can continue into adulthood.

Treatment for TD focuses on managing tics. Most cases of TD are mild and will not require medical treatment. If the tics are severe, medicine or habit reversal training is considered. The tics can be reduced, but there is no cure for TD at this time.

Tourette's disorder is also known as Tourette's syndrome. It is more common in boys than in girls.