GILLES DE LA TOURETTE SYNDROME

(Tic de Guinon, tic convulsive, multiple tics with coprolalia, im- bacco). A rare disorder of unknown etiology found in Asia and Africa; first described by a Paris physician, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, in 1885.The syndrome has its onset in childhood between the ages of five and fifteen, starting with spasms of the eye muscles, which later spread to other facial muscles, then to the neck, upper extremities, and in some cases the entire body. These involuntary spasms are accompanied by throat noises, animalistic sounds (“aboiement”—“barking”), and ejaculation of phrases and sentences which are often of an obscene nature (coprolalia). As the disease progresses, the dominant symptoms of latah gradually appear, but as Arieti and Meth (1959) state, “It is more than doubtful that Gilles de la Tourette’s disease is a special form of the latah syndrome. Perhaps it is a combination of the two conditions.” See EXOTIC PSYCHOSES.The disease runs an unpredictable course, and the prognosis is generally unfavorable. In some cases the paroxysms last for weeks or months, then gradually abate; in others the symptoms remain unchanged; and in still others the patient becomes progressively worse and develops a severe obsessive-compulsive neurosis or even a psychosis that resembles schizophrenia.

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "GILLES DE LA TOURETTE SYNDROME," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/gilles-de-la-tourette-syndrome/ (accessed April 10, 2020).
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