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Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month – May 2023

Tourette’s Syndrome Awareness Month, from May 15 to June 15, is a period during which several activities are put together by health organizations for raising awareness about Tourette’s syndrome. Tourette syndrome or Tourette’s syndrome is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by multiple movement (motor) tics and at least one vocal tic. These are typically preceded by an unwanted urge or sensation in the affected muscles known as a premonitory urge. Tics occur involuntarily, as in hiccups for example; though an individual might not want to hiccup, the body does it anyway. People can stop themselves from doing a certain tic for a while, but it is quite difficult, and cannot be sustained.

History of Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month

Tourette syndrome, or Tourette’s syndrome, is a neurological disorder, usually hereditary, which could either begin in an individual’s childhood or adolescence. It is characterized by the presence of multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic. The eponym for the condition was given by Jean-Martin Charcot on behalf of his intern, Georges Albert Édouard Brutus Gilles de la Tourette, a French physician and neurologist, who published an account of nine patients who had the disease in 1885.

The possibility of movement disorders, Tourette syndrome inclusive, having been of organic origin came to the fore when an encephalitis epidemic from 1918 to 1926 resulted in a subsequent epidemic of tic disorders. In 1972, research advanced the position that Tourette’s is a neurological, rather than psychological, disorder and since the 1990s, a more neutral view of Tourette’s had taken shape, in which biological vulnerability and adverse environmental events are seen as interacting factors.

Tourette’s is a heterogeneous condition accompanied by waxing and waning symptoms. High-profile media coverage focuses on treatments that do not have established safety or efficacy e.g., deep brain stimulation, and alternative therapies involving unstudied efficacy and side effects are pursued by many parents. Research since 1999 has advanced the genetics, neuroimaging, neurophysiology, and neuropathology aspects of the knowledge of Tourette’s syndrome. However, there are still questions about the best classification for it as well as its close relationship with other movements or psychiatric disorders. There are currently efforts being made towards researching the genetic origin and possibly better management of Tourette’s syndrome.

Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month timeline

1825
Jean-Martin Charcot is Born

The influential French physician Jean-Martin Charcot, whose work in neurology will influence Georges Gilles de la Tourette, is born.

1825
First Case of Tourette’s Discovered

The earliest known case of Tourette’s syndrome is observed, although it is yet to be known as Tourette’s syndrome.

1857
Georges Gilles de la Tourette is Born

The French physician after whom the condition was named, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, is born.

1885
“Study of a Nervous Affliction” is Published

Georges de la Tourette’s study of nine patients suffering from the syndrome, titled “Study of a Nervous Affliction,” is released.

Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month FAQs

What is Tourette’s Syndrome?

Tourette’s syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting children, adolescents, and adults. It is characterized by sudden, involuntary movements and/or sounds which are called tics.

What is Tourette’s Syndrome Awareness Month?

Tourette’s Syndrome Awareness Month is a period during which several activities are put together by health organizations for raising awareness about Tourette’s syndrome.

When is Tourette’s Syndrome Awareness Month?

Tourette’s Syndrome Awareness Month is observed from May 15 to June 15 each year.

How to Observe Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month

  1. Participate in “Move For Tourettes”

    “Move For Tourette’s” is an exercise organized annually in honor of Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month. You can join in and participate in this year’s lineup of activities.

  2. Raise money for Tourettes Action

    You can open a fundraiser online (or offline). Invite family friends and the general public to come to donate towards raising funds for Tourettes Action.

  3. Share on social media

    You can share photos, pictures, and other media documenting your participation in different exercises throughout Tourettes Awareness month on social media. Use the #TourettesSyndromeAwarenessMonth and #TourettesAwarenessMonth hashtags.

5 Interesting Facts About Tourette's Syndrome

  1. Tourette's Syndrome causes tics

    People with Tourettes syndrome usually experience multiple motor tics, which are neurological anomalies.

  2. It’s named after Georges de la Tourette

    First discovered in 1825, Tourette's syndrome did not have a specific name until one was given to it by Jean-Martin Charcot, who named it after his intern, Georges de la Tourette.

  3. One in 100 children have Tourette’s

    . Studies have shown that one in every 100 children is likely to have Tourette's syndrome or a similar form of tic disorder.

  4. Tourette’s patients all have unique tics

    It has been said that no two individuals with Tourette's syndrome have the same tic.

  5. Males are more likely to have Tourette’s

    Studies show that males are three to five times more likely to suffer Tourettes Syndrome than females.

Why Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month is Important

  1. It creates awareness for Tourettes Syndrome

    The Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month is an exercise in bringing more and more awareness to the condition to sensitize people towards its signs, symptoms, and possible treatments. We love creating awareness about important causes.

  2. It’s an opportunity to reach out and donate

    Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month is a very good opportunity for people to rally together and donate to a cause. Do some research and donate to an organization of your choice.

  3. It keeps the conversation ongoing

    Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month, and all the activities surrounding it, help to keep the conversation going. It encourages more medical research that could lead to better managing Tourettes Syndrome.

Tourette's Syndrome Awareness Month dates

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

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