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Thread: Tourettes - Hereditary?

  1. #1

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

    Quote 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 Attached Files

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

    Thank you!

  4. #4

    Default 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.

  5. #5

    Default 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?

  6. #6
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    Default 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.

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    Default Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

    Quote 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.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

    Quote 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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    Default Re: Tourettes - Hereditary?

    Quote 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.

  10. #10

    Default 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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