Tourettes Specialist

Vitality Psychiatry Group Practice

Psychiatry & TMS located in New Windsor, NY & Albany, NY

Contrary to the way it’s portrayed in television and movies, Tourette syndrome doesn’t always cause you to shout obscenities uncontrollably. Nonetheless, the physical and verbal tics of Tourette syndrome are often extremely disruptive. At Vitality Psychiatry Group Practice, in New Windsor and Albany, New York, Mitchell Cabisudo, MD, a double board-certified psychiatrist, and his multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals offer effective and compassionate treatment for Tourette syndrome. Call or make an appointment online today.

Tourettes Q & A

What is Tourette syndrome?

Tourette syndrome is a brain disorder that causes physical and verbal tics. Tics are repetitive, involuntary movements or sounds. For example, you may uncontrollably blink your eyes or blurt out unusual sounds. Tourette syndrome usually emerges during childhood, between the ages of 3 and 9.

Psychiatrists and medical researchers don’t know the precise cause of Tourette syndrome. However, studies have shown that abnormalities in certain regions of the brain, such as the basal ganglia, frontal lobes, and cortex, could contribute to Tourette syndrome.

What are the symptoms of Tourette syndrome?

Tourette syndrome causes tics, which are classified as either simple or complex. Simple tics include brief and repetitive movements that only involve a few muscle groups. For example, some simple tics include:

  • Eye blinking
  • Grimacing
  • Shrugging
  • Head and shoulder jerks

You might also have simple verbal tics such as grunting, sniffing, or throat-clearing.

Complex tics combine muscle groups and movements into specific patterns. For example, a complex tic might combine a shrug and grimace. Often, complex tics might appear as voluntary movements, such as touching objects or hopping or twisting. Verbal complex ticks might include phrases or a series of specific sounds.  

While rare, you may experience harmful tics such as hitting or punching yourself or others. It’s also uncommon to have vocal tics that cause you to repeat the words of others or swear uncontrollably.

How is Tourette syndrome diagnosed?

At Vitality Psychiatry Group Practice, Dr. Cabisudo and his team diagnose Tourette syndrome with a thorough evaluation. They observe your behaviors and ask about your symptoms, health, and lifestyle. They will want to know how long you’ve been experiencing the tics and how your tics affect your life. Your provider may also recommend an MRI, CT scan, or electroencephalogram (EEG) to study your brain and brain activity.

How is Tourette syndrome treated?

Dr. Cabisudo and his team take a multidisciplinary, customized approach to manage Tourette syndrome. While there’s currently no cure for the condition, your team can prescribe medication to alleviate some of your symptoms and offer therapy to help you learn to cope with your condition. When it comes to Tourette syndrome, no single approach works for everyone and your provider may adjust your therapy to meet your need and help restore your quality of life.

If you’re concerned about Tourette syndrome, call or make an appointment online today.