Tourette syndrome: Finally, something to shout about

Congratulations Dr. Michael Okun on your publication of Tourette syndrome: Finally, something to shout about  in the June 8, 2017 edition of “The Conversation.”

Tourette syndrome is a mysterious medical curiosity that has puzzled doctors for more than a century. People who have it suffer from tics and other behavioral problems, such as obsessive compulsive traits and attention deficit disorder.

In addition, they are cursed by a stereotype that they swear loudly and inappropriately. In reality, 10 percent actually experience these verbal outbursts, but many are stigmatized and isolated nonetheless.

I have studied Tourette syndrome for years, and recently published a book about treatments and the common spectrum of behavioral disorders associated with it. Swearing isn’t even one of the more frequent ones.


The fact is that over the last several years, many exciting and life-altering treatments have become available to Tourette patients and their families. We have reached a crossroads in this disease where it will become increasingly critical to reeducate the public and to make new therapies widely available.

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