Tourette syndrome is a neurological disease that manifests itself at a young age. The first symptoms usually appear in childhood or adolescence, but they do not end there: they manifest themselves throughout life.
Most often, these symptoms begin with small facial twitches consisting of small grimaces, twitches, or rapid blinking, but they can also extend to the extremities and trunk or complement each other.
There are different types of tics: On the one hand, there are motor tics that only affect the muscles of the body. On the other hand, there are vocal or phonic tics, which are characterized by the emission of some type of sound.
We can also classify them as simple or complex. Simple techniques are limited to the use of a single muscle group, such as: B. Blinking or turning your nose with motor tics and coughing or clearing your throat with vocal tics. However, tics recognized as complex involve multiple muscle groups and involve actions such as leaning or jumping in motor tics and screaming, insults, and swear words in vocal tics.
Tics can vary throughout the patient’s life as they depend on the frequency and severity of each individual tic. They can also evolve depending on the individual’s stage of life and, in some cases, disappear in adulthood after worsening in adolescence.
Before the onset of these tics, people suffering from Tourette’s usually experience “anticipatory” sensations such as tension, itching in certain areas, or even tickling, which subside after the tic occurs.
Tourette syndrome is usually accompanied by other illnesses in more than 90% of cases. Some of these disorders include: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
The causes of this syndrome are currently unknown, but it is thought that it could also be due to genetic and environmental factors, in addition to neurotransmitters (chemical substances in the brain that help establish neuronal relationships) such as serotonin or dopamine.
As for risk factors, there are genetic factors, that is, a family history of the syndrome. Sex can also be a problem, as men are more likely to suffer from it.
There is no specific treatment for the syndrome, as in the vast majority of cases it is mild and is not necessary. In the most extreme cases, when a medication is required to reduce tic frequency, it is usually neuroleptics, which are generally, although not exclusively, used to relieve psychosis.
The specific case of Lewis:
Last June, Scottish-born singer and songwriter Lewis Capaldi suffered a Tourette’s attack in the middle of his concert, forcing him to interrupt his tour, leaving more than 20 concerts outstanding. The artist had already taken a three-week break for health reasons. He had suffered from anxiety since his debut with the song “Someone You Loved”, but it was only in September 2022 that he confirmed that he had been diagnosed.
The singer thanked the audience’s reaction at his Glastonbury concert and explained that he was “still learning to live with the syndrome”.
Other famous people with Tourette’s:
The Lewis Capaldi case is not an isolated case; among the most famous faces in cinema and sport there are also people who suffer from it.
Billie Elish recently confessed in an interview with David Letterman that she suffers from this syndrome, but her symptoms are only physical and very mild.
On this list is actor Zac Efron, who suffers from a tic that causes him to scratch his arm frequently and violently to the point of injury.
Even the famous composer Mozart had tics, although he could not be diagnosed because he died before he examined them.
Robert Pattinson, Rafa Nadal and Victoria Beckham are also on this list.