Often misrepresented and misunderstood, Tourette syndrome is more than a condition that causes random swearing as often depicted in the media. A neurological condition, Tourette syndrome affects an estimated 1 in every 360 children… and those are the diagnosed cases. The Center for Disease Control estimates that nearly half of children with Tourette’s are undiagnosed. For adults, living with Tourette’s can be especially challenging although today, more than ever, there are many avenues for coping with Tourette syndrome and more people coming forward to share their stories.
Symptoms of Tourette Syndrome
The hallmarks of Tourette syndrome are known as tics. Ranging from mile to severe, tics are categorized in two ways: motor and vocal. Common motor tics include blinking, facial grimacing, jaw movements, head and arm jerking and shoulder shrugging. Sometimes these motor tics are combined. Common vocal tics include sniffing, throat clearing, grunting and shouting while more complicated vocal tics may include confusing words or phrases, or the more commonly portrayed swearing and profanity. While the exact cause of Tourette’s is unknown, doctors and researchers believe that it is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is also believed that chemicals in the brain that transmit nerve impulses also may play a role.
Tourette Syndrome in the News
All American soccer player and United States national team goalie, Tim Howard has been living with Tourette syndrome and OCD since childhood. His book, The Keeper, published in 2014, brings his career and life with Tourette syndrome to light while sharing his story is helping kids, and adults, understand this complicated condition. Today, after nearly every game, Howard meets with a child with Tourette and their family. He is an active participant in the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign and is an inspiration to the many children, families and fans who struggle with neurological and mental health disorders.
Coping with Tourette Syndrome
There is hope for Tourette sufferers. New studies show promise for treatment through non-invasive and drug-free treatments including Chiropractic Neurology. In one study published by the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, research shows that as the brain develops, it relies on normal structural movement and joint movement, and that complex communication and pathways in the brain are tied to spinal biomechanics and their neurological pathways. Neurological disorders may be related to how the body communicates with the brain and the spine. Chiropractic Neurologists are experts in the brain-nervous system connection and how to harness its healing power.
If you or a loved one suffer from symptoms of Tourette syndrome and would like to know if Chiropractic Neurology can help, please contact the team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center for more information.
To learn more about Tim Howard and watch his video on life with Tourette Syndrome, click here. For more information about Tourette syndrome and resources that can help sufferers lead a happy and productive life, visit the Tourette Association of America’s website.