Rani Mukherjee’s ‘Hichki’ is gaining a lot of attention. The movie throws light on the Tourette syndrome. Famous personalities who are said to have the condition are Beethoven and Mozart, David Beckham and Marc Eliot.
- Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder in which a person has continuous and regular involuntary movements and tics.
- The symptoms of the disease include arm jerking, throat clearing, facial grimacing, sniffing and grunting.
- The syndrome is named after a pioneering French neurologist, Dr Georges Gilles de la Tourette who, in 1885 described and identified the condition in an 86-year-old woman.
“Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder usually seen in children. Kids that have Tourette’s have *tics* (abnormal movements or involuntary sounds from their mouth that the person cannot easily control). Tourette’s is normally inherited, and starts in childhood. People who have Tourette’s have a normal life expectancy and normal intelligence,” said Dr Pankaj Agarwal, Neurologist and Movement Disorders specialist, Global Hospitals.
He added, “Tics are normally not as bad as people get older, so these children usually grow to be completely normal adults. Adults with severe Tourette’s are rare. Fewer than 15% of people with Tourette’s have coprolalia. Coprolalia is using words or phrases that some people might find offensive without being able to stop saying them. These may include curse words. However the stereotypical Tourette’s sufferer has coprolalia.”
The condition doesn’t have a definitive treatment. But experts say that medical intervention for TS include psychological, behavioural and drug therapies could be of help.
“Most people with Tourette’s do not need treatment. There are drugs that modify brain chemicals and can help control the tics. There are behavioural (non-drug) therapies that can help people live easier with Tourette’s. The disease is named after Georges Gilles de la Tourette, a famous French Neurologist, one of the first doctors to describe its symptoms,” said Dr Agarwal.
What we must, however know is that TS doesn’t hamper an individual’s IQ.