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Question 12: great website and great source for support! i was wanting to ask a few questions....

1. what exactly is the difference between a tic disorder and tourette's?

2. is tourette's related to or a form of the disorder known as "chorea"?

3. at what age did your tourette's appear? and how?

thanks! S.Z.

Hello S.Z.

#1 -- Tourette IS a tic disorder: one of three. Chronic tic disorders occur for longer than a year and involve EITHER motor OR phonic tics. Transient tic disorders can involve BOTH motor and phonic tics, but occur for less than a year. TS is the "granddaddy" tic disorder -- both motor/phonic tics for more than a year.


#2 -- As in Syndenham's chorea? Possibly -- I refer you to a paper I wrote that reviews the literature on the similarities between Tourette, chorea, and a condition known as PANDAS ( -- also downloadable in Adobe Acrobat format at


#3 -- Fairly early, although my recollection around age is fuzzy (I was not diagnosed until I was 19 and so did not have the context to think about my "problems" as tics until many years later. I was at least as young as 7' of my earliest TS recollections is of having a tic where I would clench the abdominal muscles used to initiate urination. On a roadtrip I continually begged for the car to be stopped so I could "pee" and was eventually spanked for 'playing games'. Other early tics were humming, eye blinking (I had "dry eyes"), arm extending (as if to pull one's sleeves back) and mouth extending (resulting in numerous cold sores in dry weather around my irritated mouth).

I hope this helped!
Dr. Dunc.

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