The most common question I’m asked by parents whose children have Tourette’s syndrome is “What will happen when they get older?” The fear is that they will progress to become like the caricatures seen on TV.
A study published in the June 2001 issue of The Journal of Child Neurology has good news. Children with Tourette’s syndrome, a disorder characterized by motor and verbal tics, have an excellent chance of improving by adulthood.
In this study, researchers surveyed young adults who had been diagnosed with Tourette’s when they were around 10 years old. Some did get worse over time, but overall, tics decreased by 59%. Fully 90% of the patients were the same or better than they had been as children, 78% were now off of their medicines, and 44% of former patients are now symptom-free!