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Alternative Names Return to topChronic vocal tic disorder; Tic - chronic motor tic disorder
Definition Return to top
Chronic motor tic disorder involves quick, uncontrollable movements or vocal outbursts (but not both).
Causes Return to top
About 1 to 2% of the population has chronic motor tic disorder. The condition is more common than Tourette syndrome. However, it is not as common as transient tic disorder.
All types of chronic tics are believed to be forms of Tourette syndrome.
Symptoms Return to top
People can hold off these symptoms for a short period of time, but they feel a sense of relief when they carry out these movements.
Tics may continue during all stages of sleep. They may get worse with:
Exams and Tests Return to top
The doctor can usually diagnose a tic during a physical examination. Tests are generally not needed.
To be diagnosed with the disorder:
Treatment Return to top
Treatment depends on how bad the tics are and how the condition affects you. Medicines and psychotherapy are used only when the tics have a major impact on daily activities, such as school and job performance.
Drugs used to treat tics include dopamine blockers, such as pimozide and risperidone. However, these drugs are not always successful and can cause side effects.
In recent years, brain stimulation using permanently implanted electrodes in the brain has shown promising results.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Children who develop this disorder between ages 6 and 8 do very well. Symptoms may last 4 to 6 years, and then stop without treatment in early adolescence.
When the disorder begins in older children and continues into the 20s, it may become a life-long condition.
Possible Complications Return to top
There are usually no complications.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
There is usually no need to see the health care provider for a tic unless it is severe or disrupts your life.
If you cannot tell whether your movements are a tic or something more serious (such as a seizure), call your health care provider.Update Date: 2/13/2008 Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Departments of Anatomy & Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.