Tourette's syndrome is a neurological condition that usually begins in childhood. It is illustrated by repetitive involuntary movements and vocalisations, which are also known as tics. Individuals diagnosed with Tourette's experience vocal and/or physical tics, which are categorised as simple and complex. Vocal tics include a variety of sounds while physical tics refer to a range of physical movements. These tics are deemed simple or complex depending on their severity. A simple tic could be a small movement whereas a complex tic could be a series of physical movements.
Over 300,000 children and adults have Tourette's in the UK, and one in a hundred school children are diagnosed between the ages of three and nine. In the majority of cases, Tourette's syndrome runs in the family. It is also closely associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Tourette's does not usually affect overall physical health, but it can have a significant emotional impact. Many people who have the condition experience embarrassment, low self-esteem and social isolation. Counselling however can really help to address these issues.