BY MARK’S FATHER My son Mark is now 14 1/2 years old. He’s a wonderful kid—socially accepted, active in sports, and doing well in school. But we went through an absolute nightmare with his tics. […]
Tics and Tourettes: Prevention and Treatment
There’s a saying that genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger. Whether or not you have a family history of Tourette syndrome or related tic disorders, there are several approaches you can take to prevent and treat symptoms.
Doctors often tell people with Tourettes that there is nothing they can do to besides reducing stress: “The tics wax and wane—they come and go on their own.” Some even refer to the process as a “mystery.” Families are apparently expected to just sit back and watch the ups and downs take place. This attitude makes about as much sense as telling people with allergies that their symptoms will “wax and wane,” without explaining which allergens may affect a person’s symptoms.
Of course, doctors would tell their patients why vocal and muscle tics wax and wane—if they knew. But there has been an appalling lack of interest in the role of the environment by leaders in the field. In fact, for the last 18 years, our organization is the only group that has been vigorously exploring a range of factors that can aggravate tics, such as toxic exposures; food sensitivities and food allergy; heavy metals; nutrient imbalances; infection, allergens, and immune system issues.
Our book Natural Treatments for Tics and Tourettes: A Patient and Family Guide gives a comprehensive explanation of non-toxic prevention and treatment options with a review of behavioral approaches, acupuncture and biofeedback; hypnosis may also be helpful.
Families can learn more with our article Finding Triggers for Tics: A Must Read. An integrative physician can assist in determining underlying biological causes of symptoms. While the standard treatment for tics focuses on strong medications that many seek to avoid, ACN Latitudes offers valuable options to patients and families.
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A positive case report supports the use of a standardized cannabinoid extract (Sativex) at mitigating symptoms of Tourettes, according to an online publication ahead of print in the journal Australasian Psychiatry.
In the office of Dr. Jeffrey Brown and Dr. Brendan Stack, a young patient Kenny and his mom are seen after an adjustment for a dental appliance used to help control his Tourette syndrome tics. […]
Daniel M. Keller, PhD reported in Medscape Medical News on new research linking iron levels and the severity of tics in Tourette syndrome. In a poster presentation at the 20th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease […]
Held in London (June 2015), the First World Congress on Tics and Tourettes was designed to address “hot topics” in the field for treatment and emerging research. In a positive move, some integrative, nondrug approaches […]
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. […]
I love it when families and patients with tic disorders discover what is triggering tics in their cases. And I love it even more when they take the time to share their findings with us, […]
JAMIE BECHTEL, PH.D Jamie Bechtel is the co-founder and CEO of New Course, and is a highly regarded leader in international conservation and poverty alleviation. Jamie is an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative and […]