Tourette’s is an inherited disorder that begins in childhood and is characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations, called tics. The tics can last a short period of time or become more persistent; they can be suppressed temporarily and are preceded by an uncomfortable bodily sensation, such as an itch, a tingle or tension. The early symptoms are typically noticed in childhood, but they tend to improve in adulthood. For those in whom tics interfere with their daily activities, there are a few medications that control their symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no medication that is helpful to all people with Tourette disorder, nor does any medication eliminate symptoms completely. In addition, all medications have disruptive side effects, like weight gain or sleepiness.
Feinstein Institute researchers are actively involved in clinical research to find treatment for Tourette disorder. Their research also focuses on the explosive outbursts in children and adults with this disease and on the genetics of Tourette disorder.