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Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month – May 2023

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month is observed every year from May 15 to June 15. The movement strives to raise awareness of the condition and to share triumphs to inspire the Tourette’s community and beyond. The difficulties that arise as a result of the illness can be physically and mentally debilitating. Involuntary twitches, movement, and sounds are all examples of Tourette’s tics. Participate in numerous ways to make a lasting effect on a global scale and help make a difference together.

History of Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

Tourette’s syndrome is an inherited neurological illness characterized by many physical tics and at least one phonic tic that manifests in infancy or adolescence. Jean-Martin Charcot was awarded the term on behalf of his intern, Georges Albert Édouard Brutus Gilles de la Tourette, a French physician and neurologist who published a report on nine patients with Tourette’s in 1885. When an encephalitis outbreak from 1918 to 1926 resulted in a subsequent epidemic of tic disorders, the hypothesis that Tourette’s syndrome had an organic genesis was proposed. Tourette’s was first identified as a neurological illness in 1972, but since the 1990s, a more neutral perspective of the disorder has emerged — in which biological vulnerability and bad environmental experiences combine.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.) rejected the T.SA’s funding proposal in 1972 because the N.I.H. believed there were only 100 cases in the entire country — according to a 1973 registry. According to stories in “Good Housekeeping on Tourette’s Syndrome,” there were numerous undetected cases of Tourette’s across the United States.

The United States Orphan Drug Act of 1983 recognized Tourette’s as a rare condition. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved pimozide for the treatment of the illness in 1985. Since 2000, multiple studies have repeatedly shown that the prevalence of Tourettes and tic disorders is substantially higher than previously thought.

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month timeline

1825
The First Description of Tourette’s

A French physician named Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard describes the first instance of Tourette’s syndrome.

1885
‘Study of Nervous Affliction’

Gilles de la Tourette releases ‘Study of a Nervous Affliction’— a report on nine patients, and concludes that a new clinical category should be formed.

1961
Haloperidol Treatment

Seignot publishes the first account of haloperidol in the treatment of Tourette's.

1980
Inclusion in D.S.M.-III

The third revision of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (D.S.M.-III) includes Tourette’s syndrome for the first time.

1983
Recognized as a Rare Disorder

The United States Orphan Drug Act of 1983, recognizes Tourette’s syndrome as a rare disorder.

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month FAQs

What is the life expectancy for Tourette’s?

Tourette’s syndrome patients have a normal life expectancy.

Can Tourette's go away?

It usually starts during childhood but the tics and other symptoms usually improve after several years and sometimes go away completely. There’s no cure for Tourette’s syndrome, but treatment can help manage symptoms.

Can you get Tourette’s at any age?

The first signs of Tourette’s syndrome usually occur in children between the ages of seven and 10, but they can begin as early as two years or as late as 18. Tics that begin after age 18 are not considered symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome.

How to Observe Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

  1. Wear teal colors on Tuesdays

    Teal is the official Tourette's color. Wearing something in this hue, such as a t-shirt, wristband, lapel pins, buttons, or shoes, will not only express support for Tourette's patients, but will help raise funds to improve their lives through sales.

  2. Share on social media

    One of the most potent methods for reaching people in the shortest amount of time is social media. Posting Tourette’s syndrome-related information, articles, photographs, and videos on popular social media platforms can quickly reach millions of people.

  3. Make donations

    Donations go a long way in supporting Tourette's awareness. Thanks to numerous donors and supporters, the Tourette's Association of America has been around for nearly 50 years. Making donations helps with raising awareness, providing treatment alternatives and care, as well as support services.

5 Important Facts About Tourettes

  1. One in 100

    One out of every 100 children has Tourette’s syndrome or a tic problem.

  2. Coprolalia affects 10% of patients

    Only about 10% of people with Tourette’s swear, a condition known as ‘coprolalia.’

  3. Tourette’s patients suffer co-morbid issues

    A.D.D., A.DH.D, O.C.D., anxiety disorders, sensory processing disorder (S.P.D.), and dysgraphia are just a few of the co-morbid problems that people affect Tourette’s sufferers.

  4. Tourette’s tics fluctuate

    Tics wax and wane and can rise and diminish and fluctuate during a person’s lifetime.

  5. Excitement worsens Tourette’s

    Tics are frequently worse when you're stressed or excited.

Why Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month is Important

  1. It improves the quality of life

    Tourette's awareness can improve the quality of life of those who suffer from the disorder. It's easier to share experiences and stories that can benefit one another in a community with families of Tourette’s patients and Tourette’s individuals.

  2. It prevents infant misdiagnosis

    A proportion of children are misdiagnosed due to a lack of awareness. According to a recent survey conducted by the Tourette Association of America, it takes an average of five years for a child to be diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome.

  3. Stigma alleviation and prevention

    Increasing public awareness about the types and range of tics displayed by people with Tourette’s syndrome can help to alleviate the stigma and misunderstanding they face. It also clears up misconceptions the public may have about Tourette’s syndrome.

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2023May 15Monday
2024May 15Wednesday
2025May 15Thursday
2026May 15Friday
2027May 15Saturday

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