Tourette Syndrome Singapore

General FAQ

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This page aims to answer the most frequently asked questions asked about Tourette Syndrome. If you would like to pose a question which has not been answered here or feel that you could offer a much better reply to a certain question, feel free to leave a comment behind on this page.

List of Questions
Please click on any of the questions below to scroll down to the question’s answer.

Q1 : How rare or frequent is Tourette Syndrome among the population?
Q2. What is Tourette Syndrome exactly? Is it a mental illness, mental disorder or a disease? What is it caused by?
Q3: Is Tourette Syndrome hereditary (be passed on by the parent to the child)?
Q4: What are the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome?
Q5: Do people with TS have all of these symptoms or just some of them?
Q6: Are there other problems which may occur frequently in addition to tics?
Q7: What causes the symptoms?
Q8: Can people with TS delay or suppress their symptoms?
Q9: Is TS a psychiatric disorder?
Q10: Is there a cure?
Q11: Is there ever a remission?
Q12: Do children with TS have special educational needs?
Q13: What is the Singapore Tourette Syndrome care group and what does it do?


Q1 : How rare or frequent is Tourette Syndrome among the population?

A: Tourette Syndrome was originally considered a rare and weird disorder, but that perception already has changed. Tourette Syndrome used to be only associated with coprolalia, the vocalisation of vulgarities, hence many cases are left undiagnosed  as symptoms are mild in most cases. On the other hand, 1 to 10 every 1,000 children may suffer from TS with the more common tics of eye blinking, coughing, throat clearing, sniffing, and facial movements. [1]

Q2. What is Tourette Syndrome exactly? Is it a mental illness, mental disorder or a disease? What is it caused by?

A: Tourette Syndrome is not a mental illness. Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder which most often begins between the ages of 6 and 21. TS is NOT degenerative, and people with TS can expect to live a normal life span.

dnaQ3: Is Tourette Syndrome hereditary (be passed on by the parent to the child)?

A: Tourette Syndrome is hereditary. It is being passed down in the genes of the parents. However individuals carrying the genes might not show symptoms of Tourette Syndrome .

Q4: What are the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome?

A: Tourette Syndrome is characterized by tics. For more information, please refer to the this blog’s page on Tourette Syndrome symptoms.

Q5) Do people with TS have all of these symptoms or just some of them?

A: Tourettes rarely have all of these symptoms. Most people will exhibit some of the many symptoms over a long period of time, and in varying degrees, mild, moderate or severe.

Q6: Are there other problems which may occur frequently in addition to tics?

A: Yes, but not always. Additional problems may include:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in which the person feels that something must be done over and again, fear of dirt, extreme concern with order and being in constant doubt are some OCD traits.
  • Attention Deficit &/ or Hyperactivity Disorder in which the Tourettes find difficulty in concentrating, are unable to sit still and act with impulse.
  • Sleep disorder
  • Auditory sensitivity
  • Learning disabilities
  • Behavioural problems which may result from OCD, ADD, depression, poor self esteem due to TS symptoms and poor school performance.

Q7: What causes the symptoms?

A:  The cause has not been definitely established. However, current research presents considerable evidence that the disorder stems from the abnormal metabolism of at least one brain chemical (neurotransmitter) called dopamine.

Q8: Can people with TS delay or suppress their symptoms?

A : Postponement or substitution of TS symptoms is a skill that some people are able to master. It requires energy and concentration to inhibit vocalisations or motor movements for even a few minutes. To avoid embarrassment in certain social situations , some Tourettes often try to inhibit their symptoms. However, symptoms may emerge more explosively when they arrive at a place where they feel more comfortable.

Q9: Is TS a psychiatric disorder?

A : No, TS is a neurological disorder. However, in some cases psychological counselling may be needed to help a person with TS adjust or help him / her to build coping skills and come to terms with TS.

Q10: Is there a cure?

A: Not yet, but medication can be effective to control some of the symptoms in some cases. Symptoms may be reduced , but they will continue to wax and wane, and they will commonly appear more pronounced during stressful periods. However, some Tourettes might experience the side effects of the medication such as dizziness, fatigue, etc. The understanding of the caregivers and educators are crucial.

Q11: Is there ever a remission?

A: Some people experience periods when the symptoms seem to disappear; others experience a marked improvement in their late teens or early twenties.

Q12: Do children with TS have special educational needs?

A: While children with TS as a group have the same IQ range as the population at large, many may have special educational needs. It is estimated that many may have some kind of learning problem. That condition combined with attention deficit and the problems inherent in dealing with the frequent tics, may call for special educational assistance.

Q13: What is the Singapore Tourette Syndrome care group and what does it do?

A: TSCG comprises people with TS, their families and professionals. The group has 3 key missions. First, raise public awareness and educate the public. Second, disseminate educational materials in the fields of health care and education and third, provide moral support to victims and their families.

References:

1. Lombroso PJ, Scahill L. “Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder”. Brain Dev. 2008 Apr;30(4):231–7

2. Existing TS Care Group Blog, http://ticcare.blogspot.com/

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3 Responses to "General FAQ"

Hi. I am researching Tourette Syndrome as well as organisations in Singapore that advocate for TS for a school project and I was wondering whether TSCGS has recently done any events to raise the awareness of TS. Apart from that, I have read that you also have a support group for people who suffer from it. How frequently does the support group meet and how does one with Tourette go about entering the support group? Thank you and I look forward to your reply. If you have any links where I can find more information regarding your events and the support group, I would be very grateful if you would direct me to them. Sorry for any inconveniences caused.

Hi, need help here. Does anyone with knows if this breakthrough of using mouthguard is true or just a marketing gimmick?
https://sg.news.yahoo.com/could-breakthrough-relieve-tourette-symptoms-182517377.html

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Welcome to this new blog!

This blog was set up with the mission of striving to reach out to the public in Singapore and educate them about Tourette Syndrome through different initiatives.
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