Tourette syndrome (TS)

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Tourette syndrome (TS) is a condition in which a person has spasms, also called tics, that typically include blinking, frowning, jerking the head, and raising the arms or shoulders. A person may also make sounds, such as sniffing, throat clearing, or coughing, or say words.

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

TS is more common in boys than in girls.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.