Treatments

There are no cure for Tourette Syndrome. However, there are still Medications and Therapies available. In most circumstances, treatments won’t be necessary if the “tics” aren’t severely affecting the person’s life. If the “tics” are interfering the person’s social and academic life, treatments will be necessary. There are other treatments targeting other occurring circumstances such as ADHD and OCD, here we will be focusing on explaining treatments targeting Tourette’s.

Medication

Currently, Haloperidol, Pimozide, and Aripiprazole are the only medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat tics. However, doctors may start with medications that are not FDA approved specifically for the treatment of tics, such as Guanfacine or Clonidine, both of which are alpha-adrenergic agonist medications that are approved for use in the treatment of high blood pressure.

Therapies

Therapies are a kind of treatment that helps people to manage their “tics”. It could help reduce the number, severity, and impact of the “tics”. However, this doesn’t indicate that anyone who participates in therapy could achieve this since everyone is different, but most of the time, therapies do seem to improve a person’s Tourette Syndrome.

Habit Reversal

This is one of the most commonly used treatments for Tourette’s. It consists of both awareness training and competing for response training

Awareness training refers to the action of identifying each “tic” out loud.

Competing response training refers to the action of developing a new movement to replace the “tic” when the “tic” is about to occur. For example, if a person’s “tic” involves sticking their tongue out, then they will have to replace the action with another action like cracking knuckles when the “tic” occurs.

Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT)

There will be meetings with a therapist and some homework involved. This therapy includes education about “tics” and relaxation techniques. This based of these three basic principles:

Tics can get better and worse on their own.
Tics are often done in response to a feeling or an urge.
Tics can often be stopped, at least for a short time.

Changing the situation-Notice how the “tics” appear in different scenarios

Watching the tic-Noticing the process of urging a tic

Fighting back the urge to “tic”-Try ways to relax and reduce the urge to “tic”

Changing bad “tics”-Try to reverse your tics by doing something opposite