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Tourette Syndrome Treatment

Treating Behavioral Problems

Effective medications are also available to treat some of the behavioral conditions that can occur in patients with Tourette syndrome.
Recent research shows that stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, can lessen attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in people with Tourette syndrome without causing tics to become more severe. However, the product labeling for stimulants currently does not recommend the use of these drugs in children with tics associated with Tourette syndrome or in those with a family history of tics.
Scientists hope that future research studies will include a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits of stimulants in those with Tourette syndrome or a family history of Tourette syndrome and will clarify this issue.
For obsessive-compulsive symptoms that significantly disrupt daily functioning, the serotonin reuptake inhibitors (clomipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, and sertraline) have been proven effective in some patients.
Psychotherapy may also be helpful as a form of Tourette syndrome treatment. Although psychological problems do not cause Tourette syndrome, such problems may result from the condition. Psychotherapy can help the person with Tourette syndrome better cope with the disorder and deal with the secondary social and emotional problems that sometimes occur.
More recently, specific behavioral treatments that include awareness training and competing response training, such as voluntarily moving in response to a premonitory urge, have shown effectiveness in small clinical trials.

Learning to Control Tics

Although the symptoms of Tourette syndrome are involuntary, some people can sometimes suppress, camouflage, or otherwise manage their tics in an effort to minimize their impact on their ability to function. However, people with Tourette syndrome often report a substantial buildup in tension when suppressing their tics to the point where they feel that the tic must be expressed. Tics in response to an environmental trigger can appear to be voluntary or purposeful, but are not.
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Information About Tourette Syndrome

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