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Gilles de la Tourette syndrome

  • Alternative Names

    Tourette syndrome


    Many patients with Tourette syndrome have very minor symptoms. In this case, they are usually not treated, because the side effects of the medications may be worse than the symptoms of the condition.

    Drugs used to treat tics include dopamine blockers, such as fluphenazine, haloperidol, pimozide and risperidone. These medicines can help control or reduce tics, but they have side effects such as movement disorders and cognitive dulling. Antiseizure medications are also used sometimes.

    A blood pressure medicine called clonidine has been shown to help control tics. Another drug commonly used is tetrabenazine, but this drug is also linked to movement disorders as well as depression. Many other treatments have been tried with little or no improvement.

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has given encouraging results both for the main symptoms of Tourette syndrome and for the associated obsessive-compulsive mannerisms.

    Support Groups

    Tourette Syndrome Association - www.tsa-usa.org

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Most patients improve in early adulthood. Although 1 in 4 patients may be symptom-free for a few years, only 8% of patients have symptoms completely go away without returning.

    People with Tourette syndrome have a normal life expectancy.


    Conditions that may occur in people who have Tourette syndrome include:

    • Anger control issues
    • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    • Impulsive behavior
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Poor social skills

    These conditions need to be diagnosed and treated.

    Calling your health care provider

    Make an appointment with your health care provider if you have tics that are severe or persistent, or if they interfere with your daily life.