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Tourette Syndrome Overview

Other Movement Disorders

While Tourette's is classified under the large umbrella of movement disorders, and more specifically as a tic disorder, there are other disorders that cause tic-like movements. So how can you tell Tourette's from another movement disorder?

There are many movement disorders, neurological conditions that can affect a person's movement by changing the speed, fluency, quality and ease of a given movement. A few are commonly confused with Tourette syndrome.

  • Chorea: rapid, involuntary movements that are commonly seen in Huntington's disease. These tics occur throughout the body and are more unpredictable than Tourette's tics.
  • Dystonia: repetitive muscle contractions that may result in jerking movements. These movements are more prolonged than Tourette's tics.
  • Stereotypic movement disorder: involves repetitive motions like hand-waving. Patients usually have symptoms before the age of 2, and their movements tend to happen on both sides of the body and in the extremities. The tics are also longer in duration than Tourette's tics.
  • Myoclonus: brief, involuntary twitches of a muscle or muscles that are shorter than Tourette's twitches

Now we'll find out how Tourette's is diagnosed.