Tourette's Syndrome

Symptoms of Tourette’s Syndrome

Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations, called tics. Tics, ranging from simple to complex, include eye-blinking, involuntary head or shoulder jerking and patterns of movement, such as hopping, twisting or touching object. The average onset of TS is typically between 3-9 years of age, with the worst symptoms appearing during early-teen years. It is estimated that over 200,000 Americans suffer from the most severe forms of TS.

The cause of TS is unknown, but research has suggested that changes in the brain’s neurotransmitters, which act as messengers between the brain and body, may contribute to the disorder. Medications are available for those whose symptoms interfere with daily life. Neuroleptics, often prescribed for the treatment of both psychotic and non-psychotic disorders, and most-often prescribed for the treatment of TS, come with a myriad of side effects. Sedation, weight gain, tremors and dystonic reactions are all common side effects of medication used to treat TS symptoms.

Managing Side Effects with Medical Marijuana

Early studies focusing on the use of medical marijuana to treat TS has shown that the use of medical marijuana reduces tics by inducing calming effects. These calming effects have been shown to easy many of the behavioral and psychological effects of TS, such as anxiety, ADHD, anger, obsessiveness and sleeplessness. Researchers believe that the use of medical marijuana to reduce the occurrence and severity of tics may be similar to the ways it reduces symptoms for those suffering from Parkinson’s and other dystonia-inducing functions.

The information provided should not be used as a substitution for physician knowledge. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment with medicinal marijuana.

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