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Tourettes - Hereditary?

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  • Tourettes - Hereditary?

    All the info ive benn reading suggests that Tourettes is hereditary? Is this true? Because noone in my family has it. My son has been recently diagnosed with Tourettes, but again to my understanding he would have Tourettes+ ?!?! But I am new to the Tourettes diagnosis.

  • #2
    Re: Tourettes..............Hereditary??

    Originally posted by Mamamack
    no one in my family has it
    No one that you are aware of, more than likely.

    Considering that the incidence of Tourette in the general population is somewhere between 1 and 3%, the chances are that someone in your family has had some form of the disorder, though it may not have been noticed because it could have been a mild case, the person succeeded in suppressing their symptoms while in public, or their symptoms were just accepted as being "their peculiar habit" as was said in the days before Tourette awareness was more prevalent.

    Tourette awareness is only a few decades old, so prior to the sixties, even may physicians were not recognizing symptoms as being Tourette.

    Because of the complexity of the disorder, and the multitude of ways it might be expressed from one person to another, it is quite possible you may not easily detect symptoms among family members, especially if there has not been any diagnosis and awareness among family members.

    *Tourette's disorder is an autosomal dominant disorder. Autosomal means that both males and females are affected, and dominant means that one copy of the gene is necessary to have the condition. This means that a parent with TD or a parent who has the gene for TD has a 50/50 chance, with each pregnancy, to pass the gene on. TD is associated with a non-genetic cause in 10 percent to 15 percent of children. Complications of pregnancy, low birth weight, head trauma, carbon monoxide poisoning, and encephalitis are thought to be associated with the onset of non-genetic TD.

    Dominant disorders exhibit something known as incomplete penetrance, which means that not everyone with the gene will have symptoms of Tourette's disorder. In other words, if a parent passes the gene on to a child, the child may not have any symptoms of the disorder. If a daughter inherits the gene, there is a 70 percent chance that she will have at least one of the signs of TD. On the other hand, if a son inherits the gene, there is a 99 percent chance that he will have at least one of the signs of TD.

    Finally, dominant disorders can also exhibit something known as variable expressivity. This means that there are differences in the expression of the TD gene in different people. For example, one person with TD may have obsessive-compulsive disorder, while another has a chronic tic disorder, while another has full-blown TD. In addition, there are differences in expressivity between males and females: males are more likely to have full-blown TD or chronic tics, while females are more likely to have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    The genetics behind Tourette's disorder are complicated. For this reason, it is important for individuals and families with Tourette's disorder to have genetic counseling by a geneticist (a physician with specialized training and certification in clinical genetics) or a genetic counselor, once a diagnosis has been made in the family.
    *Source: Tourettes Disorder (Medical Center-Ohio State University



    Also attached below for your information for download / printing: Tourette Syndrome: Genetics Home Reference
    Attached Files
    Steve
    TouretteLinks Forum

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    • #3
      Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

      Thank you!

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      • #4
        Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

        I just wanted to add a bit of information. Full disclosure: I'm not an expert! But from what I've read, Tourette's is more common in men, and people with TS frequently have a mother with OCD tendencies and a father with tic tendencies. For instance I have tics, suspect I have TS, and looking at my family my mother had classic OCD symptoms, and my father was very nervous and fidgety, but never a name attributed to it. I have since talked to my father and he's described to me that he has what sounds very much to me like tics, but since he never knew the true definition of a tic, he was never aware of this.

        I've had a breathing tic that I've lived with my whole life, and these kinds of things, unless it's something obvious like making barking or animal noises in public, it's something that people live with their whole lives, learn to adapt to, and begin to see as "normal" for them. And for them, it is. But they learn to live with it, and even in some cases, hide it well.

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        • #5
          Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

          Thank you. I am having trouble distinguishing if some of his behaviours are OCD like or if they are tics?! Can some last for a few days?

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          • #6
            Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

            Tourette's is more common in men
            That is my understanding as well, at least the way the Tourette seems to be expressed.

            It seems in males, tic activity is more evident, whereas in females tic activity appears to be overshadowed by associated disorders such as OCD,

            I believe it is for this reason there is discrepancy in the incidence of Tourette reported in different literature.
            Steve
            TouretteLinks Forum

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            • #7
              Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

              Originally posted by Mamamack
              having trouble distinguishing if some of his behaviours are OCD like or if they are tics
              Your best advice would come from a medical professional with expertise in treating Tourette because the making the distinction is crucial in selecting the appropriate treatment plan.

              Generally tics are thought to be muscular extensions, such as arm of body movements, abdominal clenching, head thrusts, and vocal sounds like barks, squeals or words.

              Compulsions might include touching another person, tapping a foot or requiring certain activities to be done a predetermined number of times.

              A trained medical professional should be able to make the distinction by interview and observation.
              Steve
              TouretteLinks Forum

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              • #8
                Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

                Originally posted by Steve View Post
                That is my understanding as well, at least the way the Tourette seems to be expressed.

                It seems in males, tic activity is more evident, whereas in females tic activity appears to be overshadowed by associated disorders such as OCD,

                I believe it is for this reason there is discrepancy in the incidence of Tourette reported in different literature.
                That might apply to me. It seems like while I identify as having both obsessive-compulsive tendencies and tics, the OCD has caused more problems in my life. But the tics are kind of like a little nuisance, that builds and builds stress. I tried to explain this to my husband yesterday. I told him, I think my tics make me irritable sometimes. Because it's not so bad having to do them over and over, but it's kind of like if someone spent all day poking you with a stick every few minutes... by the end of the day, you'd be pretty irritated about it, even though it was a small thing.

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                • #9
                  Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

                  Originally posted by Binomiette
                  But the tics are kind of like a little nuisance, that builds and builds stress............Because it's not so bad having to do them over and over, but it's kind of like if someone spent all day poking you with a stick every few minutes... by the end of the day, you'd be pretty irritated about it
                  I think I would want to explore why your tic expressions cause you stress.

                  Perhaps you are trying to suppress them, especially in the presence of others, or when you do express your tic(s) you might feel anxiety, disappointment, frustration, shame or any one of a multitude of emotions that becomes a stressor.

                  If you already experience stress from other sources, we know that stress is cumulative, so any added stressors might make you feel this way.

                  I would then ask, do you feel comfortable to express your tics in your "safe place" at home, and is your family supportive and tolerant of your tic expressions?

                  Anxiety is a treatable disorder your doctor or therapist can help you with, either with some light duty relaxation strategies or a mild medication to relieve situational anxiety when it occurs.
                  Steve
                  TouretteLinks Forum

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

                    It seems to be such a tricky disorder. I would rather have the tics, then deal with the "+" of it all. My son is so little, its hard to discuss with him whats going on in his little mind. They have him on Chlonidine. This is for the tics??? Wouldnt try to repress them cause more anxiety and stress?!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

                      Originally posted by Mamamack
                      I would rather have the tics, then deal with the "+" of it all
                      In fact the + associated disorders are generally easier to treat than tic activity.

                      My son is ...... on Chlonidine.
                      Clonidine (Catapres® Jenloga® Kapvay®) is usually the first choice by many physicians to control tics. It should be noted that medications prescribed to control tics do not generally eliminate them 100%, and attention should be paid to whether side effects might interfere with functioning.

                      As your son gets older, you may want to discuss with your son's doctor if cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or more specifically, CBIT or Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics, the adapted form of CBT for children with Tourette, would be right for your son.

                      CBIT is usually provided for children ten and older, as a certain degree of self awareness is needed to benefit from the strategies taught to exert some control over tic activity.

                      If you search for the term CBIT on our Forum, you will find several articles and posts on the subject.
                      Steve
                      TouretteLinks Forum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

                        Hmm... well, I've come to perceive them, particularly the breathing tic, as stressful in and of itself. But I have always tried to find ways to hide it when I'm around others, and the effort of trying to hide it makes it a lot more uncomfortable. I do feel anxiety also over wondering whether people are going to see it and ask about it. I feel more comfortable expressing my tics when I'm by myself at home, and while my husband is very supportive, I'm still wary around pretty much everyone else. Maybe I should work on not trying to hide it quite so much, and not feeling so ashamed of it anymore.

                        I do think my current therapist has offered some good strategies for dealing with stress in general, and one piece of advice I particularly liked was that she suggested I try to be aware of how I'm feeling when I'm upset, and what exactly is causing me to be upset. It sounds like very simple advice, but it's interesting how effective it's been just taking a few seconds to ask myself: "OK, I'm upset -- but WHY am I really upset about this?" Sometimes, my own answer surprises me.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

                          Binomiette,

                          You stated earlier your therapist does not appear to have much if any experience with Tourette Syndrome, so providing a relaxation strategy that would apply to a non- Tourette person, intended to help relieve stress associated with tic activity might not be the most effective plan.

                          When working with a person with Tourette, the therapist must understand that tics are involuntary, that there is a premonitory urge that precedes the tic and that interventions aimed at suppressing tics or minimizing stress caused by tics without understanding their involuntary nature can actually work against you, and exacerbate your anxiety and stress.

                          I would submit that you seek out a therapist familiar with Tourette Syndrome, who can offer you cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and more specifically CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention For Tics) the form of CBT developed for people with Tourette that focuses on recognizing premonitory urges, and redirecting or mildly suppressing tic activity. That combined with tailored stress reducing strategies would seem, in my view, at least, to be a more effective approach to dealing with stress and anxiety associated with Tourette tic activity.
                          Steve
                          TouretteLinks Forum

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

                            Chlonidine is for the tics. My son tried it but it made him tired so his Dad decided to take him off it. My understanding from the many professionals I now have in my group of support people is that Chlonidine is not a bad drug to be on at all...although how much it helps may vary. I understand there is a new format (or release method) coming out this year which is supposed to be better. My son has ADHD as well as TS.

                            How old is your son?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

                              My son is 6. He had a vocal tic when he was about 3, it lasted for quite awhile. Then it seemed to stop, so we thought. Maybe we didnt really notice them because we had so much going on since then.

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