Tourette Syndrome

Psychiatry located in Bloomsbury, NJ

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes uncontrolled and unexpected movements or sounds called tics. Wendy Ann Reiss, MSN, PMHNP-BC, is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner in Bloomsbury, New Jersey, specializing in diagnosing and treating Tourette Syndrome. Tics are common in children but usually resolve over time. If you have concerns about tics, Wendy can help. She sees patients ages 10 and up. Call today or schedule an appointment online. Telepsychiatry appointments are available.

Tourette Syndrome Q & A

What is Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that starts during the early development of the brain and nervous system. TS is a type of tic disorder. 

Tics are any unexpected sounds or movements that occur repeatedly, like shrugging the shoulders, blinking, or throat clearing. People with tics are aware of their sound or movement but have little control over them.

My daughter shrugs her shoulders a lot. Is it Tourette Syndrome?

Motor tics like repetitive shoulder shrugging are a symptom of Tourette Syndrome. However, only a medical professional can diagnose the neurodevelopmental condition. 

Tourette Syndrome symptoms fall into two categories:

Motor tics

Shoulder shrugging, facial grimacing, and neck stretching are some of the motor tics that occur in people with Tourette Syndrome. They can also have complex motor tics like hopping or jumping.

Vocal tics

Vocal tics include throat clearing, sniffing, or shouting. People with TS may also have complex vocal tics, which are words or phrases that occur out of context.

TS tics usually appear between ages 5 and 7 and tend to worsen in frequency and severity up until age 12. The tics then improve during adolescence and may disappear. However, tics with Tourette Syndrome can continue into adulthood. 

Tourette Syndrome often co-occurs with other mental health conditions like anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Wendy specializes in diagnosing and treating Tourette Syndrome in people 10 and older. 

What causes Tourette Syndrome?

Researchers are still investigating the underlying cause of TS, but it tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. It’s also theorized that environmental and developmental factors may contribute to the onset of the tic disorder.

Researchers also believe brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin may be involved in the development of Tourette Syndrome. 

What are the treatments for Tourette Syndrome?

Wendy takes a patient-centered approach to care, taking the time to get to know you and your child to fully understand all concerns and goals. She also performs a psychiatric evaluation to confirm or rule out TS and any other co-occurring conditions. 

She customizes treatment plans for Tourette Syndrome based on the severity of the tics. Treatment may include:

  • Medication management
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Psychotherapy

The goal of treatment for Tourette Syndrome is to reduce the frequency and severity of the tics.

Call the office of Wendy Ann Reiss, MSN, PMHNP-BC, today or book an appointment online to learn more about Tourette Syndrome and treatments.