Tourette Syndrome Evaluation in Rochester, NY

What is Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder that leads individuals to experience recurring involuntary muscle movements and vocalizations, which are referred to as tics. This disorder is named for Dr. Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who was one of the first to document the existence of this condition with records dating back to 1885.

The highly trained pediatricians at Elmwood Pediatrics have extensive experience identifying signs of Tourette syndrome. If you suspect your child may be exhibiting signs of Tourette syndrome or just having tics, call (585) 244-9720 to request an appointment at our pediatric clinic in Rochester today.

Symptoms of Tourette Syndrome

An individual may experience a variety of different tics as a result of Tourette syndrome. These tics are classified as:

  • Simple tics: Brief movements from a few specific muscle groups.
  • Complex tics: Patterned movements involving multiple muscle groups.
  • Motor tics: Movement of the body, such as rapid blinking or shoulder twitches.
  • Vocal tics: Involuntary use of the vocal cords, which may present itself as humming, grunting, or even shouting. When profane phrases are unwillingly shouted, it is specifically referred to as a condition called coprolalia.

Most often, symptoms of Tourette syndrome will begin occurring when the individual is between the ages of 5 and 10. Motor tics are especially common, and may worsen or improve depending on varying stress levels throughout the person’s lifetime. Severity of symptoms may also change as the person continues to age, either increasing or decreasing.

Associated Health Conditions

Many individuals with Tourette syndrome have other medical conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Muscle pains or frequent headaches
  • Various sleep disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities

Diagnosing Tourette Syndrome

Because Tourette syndrome may begin at a young age, it is important for parents to remain vigilant of signs in their child that may point to this disorder. While not all tics involve chronic, life-long symptoms of Tourette syndrome, it is advised for parents to seek professional care from a specialist like your pediatrician if their child begins exhibiting unexplained motor or vocal movements.

While there is no particular test available to diagnose Tourette syndrome, this neurological condition can often be identified through a thorough history and physical exam. If we at Elmwood determine that your child likely has Tourette syndrome, we will make a referral to a Neurologist.

Risk Factors to Consider

Those with a family history of Tourette syndrome are much more likely to experience it themselves, as it is believed that this disorder is an inherited condition. In addition, males are roughly 3 times more likely to be diagnosed than females.

Treatment for Tourette Syndrome in Rochester

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Tourette syndrome. There are, however, many ways that persons with this disorder can alleviate and manage its symptoms.


Prescription medications are often able to relieve muscle tension, which can often lead to decreased frequency or severity of tics. This form of treatment can also be very effective for those suffering from related conditions like ADHD, anxiety, or impulse control problems.


Often used in conjunction with medication, different therapeutic methods can relieve some of the individual’s stress over their disorder. By utilizing different coping mechanisms, many people with Tourette syndrome find that therapy can help to form new, positive habits that work to avoid involuntary tics.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Call (585) 244-9720 to request an appointment at our pediatric clinic in Rochester today. During your appointment, your child’s pediatrician will take the time to answer any questions you may have regarding Tourette syndrome and your child’s symptoms.

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