Culture

What is Tourette Syndrome? It's more than being 'a bit sweary'

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Tourette Syndrome - also known as Tourette's - is a neurological disorder that impacts thousands of Aussies. But what do you actually know about the condition?

Contrary to what pop culture portrayals would have you believe, it's more than being just 'a bit sweary'. In fact, swearing isn’t that common among people with Tourette’s anyway. 

Most children and teenagers with Tourette's experience everything from insomnia to anxiety and physical tics can disappear for months at a time.

The doctor who first diagnosed Tourette Syndrome - Giles de la Tourette - also suffered from a neurological condition that ultimately claimed his life.

This is just the tip of the TS iceberg - which is the abbreviation for Tourette Syndrome - and here are five other little known facts about the disorder.

1. Coprolalia, the urge to swear or say inappropriate phrases, only affects 10% of people with Tourette Syndrome.

Kevin Rudd
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2. Tics (winking, grunting, twitching, etc.) can change in frequency, type, location and severity, and can sometimes disappear for weeks or months at a time.

Tony Abbott
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3. 85% of people with Tourette’s also have one or more co-morbid condition – the most common being ADHD, OCD, and learning difficulties such as dyslexia and depression.

Pauline Pantsdown
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4. Approximately 60% of children and teenagers with Tourette’s also suffer from insomnia.

Clive Palmer
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5. There is no cure for Tourette’s, but using an experimental treatment called deep brain stimulation for severe cases of Tourette’s can reduce tics by 70%.

Cory Bernadi
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