Tourette’s syndrome (TS) is a neurological condition that causes motor uncoordination. Although popularly known for causing coprolalia (involuntary utterance of vulgar language) and echolalia (involuntary repetition of words spoken by others), TS is really characterized by involuntary movements (“tics”) of all kinds. While involuntary vocalizations may serve the interests of stand-up comedians, they are a minor part of this complex and poorly understood condition.
TS is inherited, usually beginning in childhood, and waxes and wanes, usually decreasing in frequency and severity in adolescence and early adulthood. Drugs are the usual treatment approach, reducing frequency and severity of symptoms, but they do not cure and often have side effects. Psychological help for people with TS and their families may be needed for this complex disorder. Very few adults have as extensive problems with Tourettes as they did as a child, however there are some adults who do have serious complications with the disorder as an adult and are forced to seek what would previously been considered radical treatments.