Tourette's Syndrome (cont.)
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Tourette's Syndrome Treatment
The treatments that are available are all symptomatic, meaning that they are directed at improving the symptoms rather than eliminating the cause of the disease. No curative or preventative treatment is available.
The goal of the treatment should be to help the patient to live a normal life, with the understanding that, at the present time, the treatments available do not suppress all of the symptoms. Since associated conditions may be more disabling that the tics, the treatment should be tailored to the needs of the particular individual and directed to the most troublesome symptoms.
It should be noted that as Tourette's syndrome is a chronic condition and the symptoms naturally wax and wane, any apparent success of a treatment might be an expression of the natural evolution of the disease more so than the effect of the treatment.
In most instances treatment with medication is not necessary. However, if the severity of the symptoms affects the patient's social integration or the tics are very painful or result in self-injurious behavior, then a trial with medication might be indicated.
Generally, medications should be combined with behavioral approaches to decreasing stress and anxiety.
Several treatment options, including pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies, are presented below.
Norberto Alvarez, MD