Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome
This disorder was first definitively described in 1885 by Georges Gilles de la Tourette. Symptoms, consisting of multiple tics, inappropriate vocalizations including grunts, coughs, and obscene words, usually begin between 2 and 15 years of age. The first symptoms are often eye blinks, progressing in a fluctuating course to a more generalized disorder including vocalizations. Although the psychological consequences can be severe, this is, at least in part, secondary to the socially intrusive nature of the symptoms. The disorder itself is not believed to produce primary mental problems except for learning disabilities, attentional disturbance, hyperactivity, obsessions, compulsions, and impulsive behavior in some patients. About 40% of sufferers significantly improve in early adulthood, the remainder maintaining symptoms of fluctuating severity throughout life.
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