Treatment of TS
The majority of people with TS are not significantly disabled by their tics or resulting symptoms and therefore do not require medication. However, there are medications to help control symptoms when they interfere with functioning.
The dosage necessary to achieve maximum control of symptoms varies for each patient and must be gauged carefully by a clinician. Usually, the medication is administered in small doses with gradual increases to the point where there is a maximum alleviation of symptoms with minimal side effects. Some of the undesirable reactions to medications are fatigue, motor restlessness, weight gain and social withdrawal. Side effects such as depression and cognitive impairment can sometimes be alleviated with dosage regulation or a change of medication.
Other types of therapy may also be helpful. Sometimes psychotherapy can assist a person with TS and help his/her family cope with the psycho-social problems associated with TS. The use of relaxation techniques and/or biofeedback may help during prolonged periods of high stress. There have been case reports of acupuncture, yoga, hypnosis and other alternative therapies to show benefits, but rigorous research is lacking. Proven treatments for tics include Cognitive Behavioural Intervention for Tics (CBIT) and medications prescribed by a physician. The point is to find what is best for your individual needs with the decision for the best treatment modality being left to the individual and their clinician.
Cognitive Behavioural Intervention For Tics
Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics (CBIT), is a treatment for tics (such as those seen in Tourette Syndrome). It is a more selective treatment than medications (i.e. specific tics can be targeted), lasts over time, and available research suggests that it is highly effective–perhaps moreso than medication for some.
Is it important to treat TS early? Yes, if the symptoms are disruptive or frightening. The symptoms portrayed may provoke ridicule and rejection by peers, neighbours, teachers and even casual observers. Parents may be overwhelmed by the strangeness of their child's behaviour. The child may be threatened, excluded from family activities and prevented from enjoying normal interpersonal relationships. These difficulties may become greater during adolescence, an especially trying period for young people and even more so for a person coping with a neurological disorder. Early diagnosis and treatment is advisable to avoid psychological harm.