Tics typically fluctuate with a waxing and waning course and would usually worsen in stressful situations and improve when the person relaxes or is absorbed in an activity.
Tourette syndrome often is accompanied by other behavioural or emotional problems.
For example, people might consult an allergist for sniffling or an eye doctor for unusual eye movements.
TS is part of a spectrum of conditions known as Tic Disorders.
A person with TS may touch other people excessively or repeat actions obsessively and unnecessarily.
A few patients with TS demonstrate self-harming behaviours such as lip and cheek biting and head banging.
Parents and teachers usually pay more attention to behaviour, learning and attention problems.
Sometimes tics are mistaken for other medical problems.
Other treatments used in TS include behaviour therapy techniques such as Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT) that is used in the Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics (CBIT).
In extremely severe and debilitating cases not responding to other treatments, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) can be helpful.