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Specialist in Tourette Syndrome and Associated Conditions

Cathy L. Budman, MD


Specializing in Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders

Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by repetitive moments and sounds (i.e. “tics”) that wax and wane in severity, change in type, location, and character, and typically have a childhood onset. TS is commonly associated with a variety of co-occurring conditions including obsessive compulsive symptoms, anxiety, attention, and mood problems. Although the cause of TS remains unknown, it is believed that both genetic and environmental factors are important. Selecting a health care professional with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of TS and its commonly associated disorders is extremely important.

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects 3-5 percent of all American children. It interferes with a person's ability to stay on a task and to exercise age-appropriate inhibition (cognitive alone or both cognitive and behavioral). Some of the warning signs of ADHD include failure to listen to instructions, inability to organize oneself and school work, fidgeting with hands and feet, talking too much, leaving projects, chores and homework unfinished, and having trouble paying attention to and responding to details.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.

People with OCD may have symptoms of obsessions, compulsions, or both. These symptoms can interfere with all aspects of life, such as work, school, and personal relationships.

Symptoms may come and go, ease over time, or worsen.

Most people are diagnosed by about age 19, typically with an earlier age of onset in boys than in girls, but onset after age 35 does happen.

Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Tourette Syndrome (TS) and its related disorders can manifest as behaviors that often appear to be purposefully disruptive, attention seeking or manipulative. Therefore, it is not unusual to misinterpret these neurological symptoms of the disorder as behavioral problems.

Students with TS may be punished for symptoms and behaviors that educators assume are disruptive and purposeful. Even an empathetic teacher, who recognizes the student as a child who has abilities may be frustrated because of the difficulties in understanding the cause of the behavior.

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