Complete Care for Tic Disorders

The Northwestern Medicine Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center offers multidisciplinary care for tic disorders. Our goal is to improve your symptoms and quality of life. We create a treatment plan based on your unique needs. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is a Tourette Association of America Center of Excellence.

Tic Disorders

Tic disorders are nervous system conditions that cause “tics”. Tics are repetitive sounds or movements. Tics can be semi-voluntary or hard to control. Tic disorders affect 4-5% of school-age children.

Motor tics:

  • Can affect any part of the body
  • Can be simple or complex
    • Simple tics use 1 muscle group
    • Complex tics use more than 1 muscle group

Vocal tics:

  • Include making noises and throat clearing
  • Can include saying words or sentences

The cause of tics is unknown. They sometimes run in families. Tics can be related to behavioral disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD).

Tics can start in childhood and stop in young adulthood. Some people have symptoms all their lives. It is also common for tics to start back up and then stop.

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette syndrome is a type of tic disorder. Patients with Tourette syndrome will have multiple motor and vocal tics. It usually starts before age 18.

Tic Disorder Treatment Overview

At Northwestern Medicine, we create a treatment plan just for you.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Medication
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Surgery

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