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Tourette´s Syndrome and other Obsessive-Compulsive Associated Disorders

Abstract: A broad spectrum of diseases are associated with OCD. Muscle twitches and Tourette´s syndrome are some of them. Tourette´s syndrome can be treated by brain surgery.

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Tourette´s Syndrome and other Obsessive-Compulsive Associated Disorders

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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler and Jacob Palme
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 29 Aug 2017.

What other problems are sometimes confused with OCD? What are obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders? What is meant by Tourette´s syndrome?

Answer:

There is a broad spectrum of disorders with similar symptoms and a similar neurobiological cause that have to be considered. Examples of these disorders would be:

Tourette´s syndrome

Tourette´s syndrome is a neurological illness, where certain brain cells repeatedly fire and fire again. When the brain cells fire, the symptom can be muscle twitches, shouts. This syndrome is mostly known for some people with it shouting obscene words, but all people with tourette´s syndrom do not have this well-known symptom. People with this illness say that it feels as if steam is building in their brain and has to be releasted by a muscle twitch. Then the steam is released, but soon starts building again.

Anti-psychotic medicines are sometimes used to treat this syndrome, but these medicines are not so effective and have difficult side effects.

The best treatment is brain surgery. A method originally developed for treating Parkinson´s illness is used. Electrodes are inserted near the corrupt brain cells. These electrodes sends a current into the cells, which inhibits their actives and stops the action of these brain cells. This surgery can give enormous improvement: a patient who used to have muscle twitches all the time becomes quite normal.

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