NJCTS - New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, Inc. - Collaborations and Partnerships for the Tourette Syndrome Community

Information for Families

Information for Families

What you want to know about TS

Newly diagnosed or concerned individuals and families may first wish to view an excellent educational film presentation about TS presented by Dr. John T. Walkup, MD of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

Click here to view the film
John T. Walkup

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal (phonic) sounds called tics. In a few cases, such tics can include inappropriate words and phrases.

The disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, the pioneering French neurologist who first described an 86-year-old French noblewoman with the condition in 1885.

TS symptoms generally appear before the individual is 18 years old and may often be accompanied by other disorders such as ADD/ADHD, OCD, School Phobias, Depression, GAD and Learning Disabilities. TS can affect people of all ethnic groups; males are affected 3 to 4 times more often than females. It is estimated that 200,000 Americans have full-blown TS, and that perhaps as many as 1 in 100 show a partial expression of the disorder, such as chronic multiple tics or transient childhood tics.

The natural course of TS varies from patient to patient. Although TS symptoms range from very mild to quite severe, the majority of cases fall in the mild category.