A common and possibly one of the most notable tic disorders is known as Tourette’s syndrome. The root causes for the development of a tic disorder have been a mystery for nearly three hundred years. Reasons for possible causes for the development of a tic disorder ranged from “hereditary degeneration” to a possible “irritation to the motor neutral systems by toxic substances, of a self-poisoning bacteriological origin” (Leckman, 2002). Yet even with the possible causes for the development of a tic disorder, researchers have been unable to pinpoint a definite cause and to this day are still unsure of the reason behind tic disorders (Leckman, 2002).
The remainder of this paper will discuss the tic disorder called Tourette’s syndrome and the research that has been gathered from when it was first historically discovered to what is known about it today. This research includes the origin, diagnostic criteria, etiological theories, and current treatments in both psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic practices.
Origin of Tourette’s Syndrome
The name Tourette’s originated from the name of Georges Albert Edouard Brutus Gilles de la Tourette’s. Giles de la Tourette’s is said to be responsible for making the first formal description of the disorder near the end of the nineteenth century, yet it can be speculated that the disorder might have been recognized even two thousand years prior to Gilles de la Tourette’s (Diaz-Anzaldua and Rouleau, 2008).
Research gathered by Diaz-Anzaldua and Rouleau (2008) inform that a Greek physician known as Aretaeus of Cappadocia, documented many cases in which patients had shown signs of tic-like behavior through barking, twitching, and cursing as cited in. Later in the fifteenth century a priest was said to have shown the most notable features of Tourette’s, these being motor and phonic tics (Diaz-Anzaldua and Rouleau (2008)
According to James Boswell, the eighteenth century English writer, Samuel Johnson, greatly known for being the author of the first English Language Dictionary, is said to have displayed signs of Tourette’s syndrome (Diaz-Anzaldua, Rouleau, 2008). Boswell says Johnson showcased repetitive body twitches, facial grimaces, barks and grunts, among other tics (Diaz-Anzaldua and Rouleau, 2008).
Symptoms and Diagnoses for Tourette’s Syndrome
A tic disorder genuinely begins to show in children who are in their elementary years of school; somewhere between the ages of three and eight. Being in that age range, the most notable changes to look for in a child are intense blinking of the eyes or some other unusual facial repetition as well as excessive amounts of throat clearing or sniffing. These symptoms are basic signs of Tourette’s syndrome and are classified as motor and phonic tics (Leckman, 2002).
By the age of nineteen or twenty years of age there is a great reduction in the seriousness of motor and phonic tics yet there is still a possibility of the syndrome to...