What Are Tic Disorders?

Tic disorders are brief, rapid movements and sounds that are usually repetitive and involuntary that can affect any part of the body. Their cause is unknown although they may be hereditary. Depending on the area of the body, tics are defined as simple (affecting one group of muscles) or complex (affecting multiple muscle groups). Tic disorders affect 4 to 5 percent of school-age children.

Vocal tics can be noises, throat clearing or utterances of whole words or even sentences. The combination of complex motor tics and vocalizations is Tourette syndrome. Tics can be associated with behavioral disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive traits.

Tics usually start in childhood and either level off or subside by young adulthood. However, some patients continue to have symptoms throughout their lives. Tics can become more intense after a relatively calm period.

Treatment of tic disorders depends on the degree of movement-related disability. Not all patients require therapy. Therapies may include medication, behavioral therapy, surgery or deep brain stimulation surgery (DBS).

Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center 
Lavin Family Pavilion 
259 East Erie Street, Floor 19 
Chicago, Illinois 60611 
Main Number: 312.695.7950
Fax: 312.695.5747

Making an appointment
To make an appointment, or if you have any questions about our clinic, please contact our nurse coordinator at 312.695.7950.

The board-certified neurologists at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders, including diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. They diagnose and treat patients with a full range of neurological disorders, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Movement Disorders and Neurodegenerative Disease Center

Your movement matters—at home, at work, even while doing the common tasks that everyone can take for granted. If you have a movement disorder, you deserve a level of care that can get you back to doing the things you love, with confidence and peace of mind.

The Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Movement Disorders and Neurodegenerative Disease Center uses an interdisciplinary team approach to provide individualized care that optimizes your treatment, outcomes and experience. Your care is provided by a focused and experienced team that includes specially trained neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurses, counselors and rehabilitative specialists who offer advanced treatment options and access to support and resources.

For more information, please contact us at 630.933.4056.

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