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Life's A Twitch! Celebrating 15 years.
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('why do symptoms sometimes get worse, get better, and change??')

Question 86: I noticed in your lecture – and you subsequently made mention of – the fact that when you are busy using your energy to present - your symptoms seem to disappear. My son’s symptoms are not that obvious to most - most of the time (primarily facial twitching and significant eye movement). When he is playing hockey I have observed lately that his head is twitching substantially while he is on the ice. I am somewhat surprised by this as I would have thought the sport and physical demands of the game would have reduced, not enhanced the tourrette symptoms. Any thoughts? S.O., NS, Canada.


Question 74: I was....wondering something about coprolalia. I understand there is an average age where children develop coprolalia - somewhere around 12-14, is that correct? Do children who develop this learn the swear words from what they hear or is it a natural vocal tic that causes them to swear. I guess what I'm wondering is if children who have tourettes hear swearing and develop coprolalia are they more likely to swear? Should a person be cautious about swearing around someone with TS? JS, MB, Canada


Question 53: My daughter had a vocal tic that lasted for about a year and then "disappeared" again for about a year. After many months agonizing over whether or not to get her routine childhood immunizations we went ahead with them. Three weeks after her immunization the vocal tic came back (after being gone for one year). What are the chances that the immunization triggered the tic or that it was part of the waxing and waning of tics? I wasn't aware that someone could be totally tic-free for a year and then have the tic re-occur. I am very distressed and feel extremely guilty about this. I can't help but think that the tic would not have started if she didn't have the immunization. Do you have any information on this? Keep up the good work!! D.E., ON, Canada.


Question 49: I am wondering if you know of any information you have regarding hits to the head of a person with TS. Twice now M. has been hit hard in hockey(no concussion to the head) and it almost seems that his ticks have gotten worse after the accident. Do you know if there has been any research in this area - is this possible? He was hit about 3 weeks ago and before that he had hardly ticked, he was happy and now he is ticking has increased and his volume and energy level has gone up and gets frustrated easily. Could there be a relation or am I way out in left field?! Yours Truly, J.S., MB, Canada.


Question 45: What happened to the tics during your presentation today? You speak of the brain's supervisor over motor movements going on coffee breaks in Tourette syndrome -- was the supervisor not permitted a break? M.B., ON, Canada


Question 42: My sister is 44 years old. She has exhibited TS symptoms for decades....Most pronounced are her verbal tics. While never profane, she has classic TS symptoms. On June 29, my sister was diagnosed with a BRAIN TUMOUR, on her speech center, left parietal lobe. Since then, her tics have become somewhat more frequent and the variety of verbal tics has increased. M y main question: Have you ever seen a TS case where the person has developed a tumour in the speech center? Is there any correlation, in your opinion? Thank you for hearing me out. My sister....beyond the tics is a kind, generous person. Blessings, H.G., ON, Canada.


Question 35: Dr. Duncan, I am a 35 year old male professional with TS. I have been ticking like crazy all summer due to the stress of buying a house, moving, renovating and starting a new job. I click my throat so much that it hurts at night when I go to bed and I am afraid I am going to damage my larynx or vocal cords. I am not taking medication as my condition is not that severe, but are there any herbs or foods that can alieve my ticking, or anything can can bring my stress level down? J.S., NB, Canada

Dear Dr. Dunc,
I read from some sources that environmental factors can magnify TS symptoms. What are considered environmental factors? How can I help my 61/2 year old to form a good environment for him to help him control his tics. Does it mean that as his mom I may have may his tics worse? I am having a very hard time coming to grips with his TS and tics. Please help!!!!!! G.W., ON, Canada


Question 30: It is not uncommon for TS children (even adults) to be sexually inappropriate, perhaps intrusive and not complying with the cultural/societal norms. How does one address this in an in-service since the question has popped up? More importantly, how does one handle this behaviour to extinguish it? With some young children it seems to extinguish fairly quickly with talking and substitution training for in public. For others whom are at the age when this can be viewed as deviant, criminal behaviour--Young Offenders 12+ and age of sexual consent 14 years--what suggestions for working with these young people. Some of them are some management issues need to be addressed. K.T., BC, Canada.


Question 22: My son is 5yrs old and he blinks or squints his eyes very fast several times in a row constantly. He also clears his throat and twitches his nose when he is doing the eye thing. Also he always has a spot on top of his head where the hair is broken off from him pulling and twisting it in his fingers. I really haven' t been able to determine a pattern for all of these things because he does it so often, but I do think he seems to do it more when he is tired, nervous or upset. Could this be TS?

Also I think that it may be worth mentioning that the day that the eye blinking first of the children had hit him in the head with a toy gun....We went and picked him up and went to the eye doctor, thinking that he could have scratched his eye. They couldn't find anything wrong with his eye. The next day I took him to his pediatrician because he was still blinking and he did have a visable but not significannt place on his head behind his ear. Once again I was told that he was fine and to use visine....Now it is about two years later and he is still twitching and has added nose twithing, head to shoulder motions and he pulls his hair....could a trauma produce or mimic the symptoms of TS? Tennessee, USA.


Question 14: What do you know about the Asthsma/coughing tic? [My son] has had a horrible cough for the last week, was dx with asthsma long before TS but am hearing things about it as a tic now. Matt has no weezing currently (at the moment) but is constantly coughing and the inhaler doesnt work. I know you're busy so I'll understand if you can't respond and won't be upset. R.S., MO, USA


Question 4: Robbie is having trouble with his eyes rolling up into his head It was happening allot when he was on nine pills of orap.Then we cut him back to two pills a day and they gradually got better. One of the side effects of orap is unusual eye movement.Robbie feels that the orap is causing this in his eyes and he want's to drop down to 1pill aday.we are letting him try that. We wanted to know if his sinus allergy could play a part in this. Robbie has sinus allergy and is on Flonase nose spray. When his eyes are bothering him can go to bed for awhile and they get better. It seems the last two weeks he has been over at a friends house on the weekend and he is allergic to carpet which makes his sinus bad and by monday night his eyes are bothering him. If you have any suggestions we would like that. L.M., Prince Edward Island, CA


Question 1: Duncan when i get done playing my nintendo 64 games my tourettes comes out strong why is that? My Dad thinks my tourettes comes out becaues i focus on my games to much.Is my Dad right? D.P.,Texas, USA


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