Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Kara. Kara Wonders, “What is tourette syndrome? ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Kara!

Have you ever had the hiccups? Most people have! Often, hiccups go away easily. People hold their breath or drink water. They might even look for a good scare. The next thing they know, their hiccups are gone.

Yes, most hiccups go away quickly. But they’re still no fun to have. Many find the involuntary sounds and movements hiccups cause very frustrating. This may help them empathize with people who experience today’s Wonder of the Day. Today, we’re talking about a medical condition called Tourette’s Syndrome (TS).

Tourette’s Syndrome causes involuntary movements and sounds called tics. People with TS experience physical tics or twitches they can’t stop. Common physical tics are blinking, shrugging, or jerking. Others have vocal tics. This is usually humming or grunting. Very rarely, vocal tics are words or phrases a person repeats unwillingly.

How common is TS? In the U.S., it’s diagnosed in about one in every 360 children. However, experts believe the condition is under-diagnosed. It may actually affect up to one in every 162 people.

Tourette’s syndrome is most commonly found in children between the ages of five and ten. Boys are much more likely than girls to have TS. Often, tics increase in pre-adolescent years. They then peter out in the late-teen years. Some people with TS find that their tics go away in adulthood. Others experience their tics their entire lives.

What causes Tourette’s syndrome? Experts aren’t quite sure. It seems to run in families. That means the cause may be genetic. TS also has a high rate of co-occurrence with other conditions. Most commonly, TS occurs in people who also have ADHD or OCD

Currently, there isn’t a cure for Tourette’s syndrome. In fact, most people with TS don’t receive treatment. If tics interfere with daily activities, doctors will help patients find treatment. There are many medicines that help control tics for people with TS. Behavioral therapy can also help people control their tics.

Research into Tourette’s syndrome is ongoing. Experts hope they’ll one day have a cure. For now, people with TS can get more information from their doctors. There are also many support groups that offer people with TS a chance to connect with each other.

Do you know someone who has Tourette’s syndrome? Have you experienced it yourself? If not, you probably still know what it’s like to have limited control over something. Everyone does. TS may not have a cure, but anyone can help by understanding the condition better.

Standards: NGSS.LS3.A, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.7, CCRA.SL.1

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