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Demographic Paper

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 This research paper will discuss Tourette syndrome (TS) a genetic neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by a presence of multiple physical uncontrolled tics as well as vocal tic. The syndrome is named in honor of a French doctor, Gilles de la Tourette, who published an article Study of a Nervous Affliction, considering nine patients diagnosed with nerve tics, which were later defined as a syndrome. These tics could be wax and wane and depend on the common physical condition of the patient in that or another period. Tourettes is defined as part of a spectrum of tic disorders, which includes transient and chronic tics. The targeted population of people suffering TS can be children as well as adults, but the syndrom starts in a very young age. There are about one to three percent of children suffering this syndrome in the whole world.

Tics affect about one in 1,000 to 2,000 people. The most severe cases occur in perhaps 200,000 Americans. Tourette syndrome is more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls. It almost always starts before age 18 usually between ages 5 and 7. The prevalence of tic disorder starts at school age and can be attended by eye blinking, coughing, throat clearing and facial movements. As children get older, they may get better. Particularly, tics cannot be so well observed, but some people always have it. In addition, in some cases, the amount of tics will constantly grow. The positive side of this disorder is that it cannot shorten the life of a patient: it will develop with a person from a childhood till ones death.

Sometimes a person with Tourette syndrome may have other conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or trouble learning. The exact number of people suffering TS is not known because many individuals do not apply to the medical attachments. All severe cases are minor as compared to a total amount of people suffering Tourette.

A person with Tourettes has about a 50-percent chance of passing the gene to ones children, but this syndrome is a condition with variable gene expression and incomplete penetrance. Thus, not everyone, who inherited the genetic defect, manifests its symptoms. Even among close relatives the symptoms of varying severity can be detected or may be absent at all. Only a small number of children who inherited the gene have symptoms that require medical attention and treatment. Sex, apparently, affects the expression of the defective gene: men are diagnosed with this health condition more often than women.

In the health care market, there are no laboratories that can hold tests for the diagnosis of Tourettes syndrome. As a result, it is frequently misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. Furthermore, it may be diagnosed only by a psychiatrist or neuropathologist on the basis of the individuals symptoms observation and family history. In the early 1970s, Arthur Shapiro started to investigate the disease and wanted to prove that Tourettes was an organic syndrome, and that psychotherapy was not the treatment of choice. Gadow andSverd also conducted researches, and their attention was turned to a deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic tic disorder, and methylphenidate. Today, specialists from Harvard University try to examine the brain of a person who had TS. They take a sample of biomaterial from a central part of a brain, than this section is frozen in an artificial ice, and later the basal ganglia a conductor of a motor signals is investigated by specialists. Scientists believe that syndrome affects exactly on this part of a brain. They have already ascertained that the problem is in the intention of topomin that is non-uniformly distributed in the basal ganglia of the brain. If they have found a medicine that will help to distribute topomin regularly, probably, they could treat all people suffering Tourette syndrome.

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There can be no demographic changes in the population of people with the TS because syndrome does not lead to the early lethal outcome. The only problem it can cause is to declare itself in the genes of the next generation and create big problems in their life. It also may not have any negative impact on the health care in general since, as a rule, persons with TS do not need any special medical treatment. Only in severe cases, when tics are uncontrolled or even increase from year to year, specialists prescribe some pharmacological treatment. There are no drugs that work universally for all patients without significant adverse effects. The most severe and strict way of therapy is social isolation. When medication is used, the main aim is not to eliminate symptoms. Medicine should be used at the lowest possible dose not to cause adverse effects, and not to become more disturbing than the symptoms for which they were prescribed. Together with Tourette syndrome, other disorders often develop, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, seizures, uncontrolled anger, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and reduced social skills.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a very useful treatment when TS is diagnosed. Also, among other ways of treating this syndrome such techniques as relaxation, different exercises, yoga or meditation may be useful. However, the majority of behavioral exercises (such as relaxation training and biofeedback) have not been systematically evaluated and supported for Tourettespatients.

As children comprise the biggest number of people with TS, some of them need special care in treatment. Specifically, they may need training in more or less specialized classes, and in some cases in special schools. All children with Tourette syndrome require tolerant approach and understanding that will motivate them to work and to reveal their full potential. Pedagogical approach must also be flexible enough to take into account the special needs of children with Tourettes. This method can be shown in private lessons, examinations held outside the regular classroom or even oral exams when the childs symptoms impair ones ability to write. Testing with no time limit reduces stress for students with TS and allows showing their knowledge in a less stressful situation.

Moreover, traditional sport and other activities, such as dancing, boating, rock climbing, skateboarding and even extreme sports, e.g. parkour, and others that make their heart beat faster, and the brain work may help people with TS to diminish tics. Nonetheless, the problem they face every time is the reaction of people surrounding them in the training classes and dance pavilions. Such negative reaction of others makes persons with TS nervous and it only makes their condition worse.

Not to feel themselves as rara avis, individuals suffering TS create their own communities where they can share their problems with each other. One of such communities is an International Tourette Syndrome Association. Every person can make donations for this organization to help people with this disorder meet their needs and live a normal life.

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