Rachel Smith via Crowdrise
May 30, 2011
BENEFITING: TOURETTE SYNDROME ASSOCIATION INC
My desire is to raise money online for the study and cure of Tourette Syndrome.
Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological movement disorder that is inherited. It affects between 100,000 to 200,000 people in the United States. About 1 million Americans may have very mild symptoms of TS. A person with TS makes involuntary and repeated body movements, called "tics." The tics are not always present, but may worsen with fatigue or stress.
TicsMotor tics are involuntary movements that most often involve the face and neck muscles. Such movements include shoulder shrugging, eye blinking, and nose twitching. They can also involve the rest of the body, as in arm thrusting, leg kicking and jumping motions. Motor tics usually occur in the same part of the body, but over time, tics may fade from one part and appear in another part.
Motor tics can be classified as simple or complex. Simple tics are abrupt, brief movements that occur in a single and isolated fashion, meaning that no other tics are experienced at the same time. Examples of motor tics are an eye twitch, a shoulder shrug, or a head jerk.
Complex tics are a series of movements. These can appear purposeful, as if the person was coordinating them, but they are also involuntary. Examples of a complex tic might be smelling objects (which might include picking something up, bringing it to the nose, sniffing, then putting it down) or mimicking movements made by others (called "echopraxia"). These might be interpreted as purposeful. Examples of complex tics that would not be seen as purposeful would be repeated kicking motions, or head shaking with shoulder shrugging.
Vocal TicsPerhaps the most well known symptom of TS is the vocal tic. Vocal tics include everything from a simple clearing of the throat, sniffing noises, grunting or barking to the verbalization of words and nonsensical sounds. Most people think of people with TS as having outbursts that include obscene words. In fact, this occurs in only about 15% of TS cases. As with motor tics, vocal tics vary in severity and frequently change (from grunts to words, for example) and may become better or worse depending on circumstances.
As with motor tics, vocal tics can be separated into simple and complex tics. Simple vocal tics include single sounds such as clearing the throat or sniffing. Complex vocal tics include any expression of words, including obscene words ("coprolalia"); repeating the words of others ("echolalia"); or repeating their own words ("palilalia"-which is difficult for anyone to say).