A person is only diagnosed with this disorder if he/she has had both motor and verbal tics for at least one year (NINDS, 2010). There is no specific test for diagnosis of Tourette’s syndrome; however, neurologists often conduct MRI, Neuro-imaging studies, CT scans and EEG studies in order to rule out other neurological problems similar to Tourette’s syndrome (Abram, 2010).
Other neurobehavioral problems often associated with Tourette’s syndrome include ADHD, learning disabilities and obsessive compulsive behaviors (NINDS, 2010), sleep problems are also common with people having Tourette’s syndrome (Abram, 2010). The Tourette’s spectrum also overlaps the autistic spectrum including Asperegers and Pervasive developmental disorder (Shapiro, 2001).
According to Jankovic (2001), diverse studies involving neuro imaging, biomedical research and genetic studies have confirmed the inheritance of Tourette’s syndrome. It has been found to be an inherited, developmental disorder of synaptic neurotransmitters (Jankavic, 2001). The inheritance factors are also related to prevalence of other associated disorders like OCD and males at risk are at a greater chance of developing tics as compared to females at risk (NINDS, 2010). ‘Tourette’s syndrome is widely considered to be genetically determined’ (Patel, 1996).
The exact cause of this neurophysiologic disorder is unknown, however, researchers have been suggesting over time that people with Tourette’s syndrome show abnormalities in level of certain neuro transmitters in the brain including: dopamine, serotonin, nor epinephrine and abnormalities in certain brain areas like basal ganglia, frontal lobes and cortex (NINDS, 2010).
Investigations based causes of Tourette’s syndrome are being conducted on a vast scale throughout the world. The NIH itself sponsors researches in this regard, involving: Genetic studies, neuro imaging, neuro pathology, clinical trials