I returned wide-eyed from Atlanta last week, where I was the keynote speaker at a conference on Tourette syndrome. The conference was well organized with diverse topics, a tribute to Brad Cohen and his foundation. While there, I was struck by how important our efforts are, and how much I need your help to spread the word.
At the conference I saw an urgent need for more awareness of triggers for tics. We’ve made a YouTube clip to encourage families and patients to learn about triggers and begin the process of monitoring their tics and triggers.
Part of my presentation at the Tourette syndrome conference included a printed survey that I shared with participants. I was looking for feedback on what they had found could trigger tics—either for themselves or someone close to them.
What was amazing was how many participants replied that they’d never even thought to look for triggers. (Then again, perhaps it is not so surprising since the general understanding in the Tourette community, both among the public and practitioners, is that there is “nothing” they can do for their symptoms.)
At the same time, some had explored triggers on their own and I have shared their helpful comments in this article. People had nailed down triggers for foods and environmental factors with positive results. Kudos to all of them for taking this initiative!
While the approach of finding personal triggers and avoiding them when possible might not help everyone, countless families around the world have found that identifying and avoiding triggers for tics can improve symptoms.
Won’t you please view the clip and then share it? We need your help in getting the message out so families can begin looking for triggers today!