Also known as Tourette’s syndrome, this is a hereditary condition of severe and multiple tics (see TIC) of motor or vocal origin. It usually starts in childhood and becomes chronic (with remissions). With a prevalance of one in 2,000, a dominant gene (see GENES) with variable expression may be responsible. The disorder is associated with explosive vocal tics and grunts, occasionally obscene (see COPROLALIA). The patient may also involuntarily repeat the words or imitate the actions of others (see PALILALIA). HALOPERIDOL, pimozide (an oral antipsychotic drug similar to CHLORPROMAZINE hydrochloride) and clonidine are among drugs that may help to control this distressing, but fortunately rare, disorder.
Article Categories:Medical Dictionary