Martha MacCallum’s new show “The Story” kicked off Monday night on Fox News Channel. Two of MacCallum’s guests, Morton Klein (pro Israel activist) and NYC councilman Jumaane Williams, suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome.
The discussion on the set was punctuated by loud grunts and visible tics by both men. The symptoms are associated with Tourette’s syndrome (watch the video of the interview below).
What is Tourette’s syndrome?
Tourette’s is a nervous system disorder characterized by repetitive movements of the body (motor tics) and unwanted vocal sounds (phonic tics).
Signs and Symptoms
The motor and phonic tics represent as rapid eye blinking, jerking muscle spasms, shoulder shrugging, throat clearing, coughing, vocal sounds and facial movements.
Tourette’s is usually diagnosed in childhood and diminishes or disappears in adulthood. About 1% of school children are diagnosed with Tourette’s. The disorder is diagnosed more in males than females.
An extremely rare form of Tourette’s is coprolalia, which is characterized by involuntary cursing or uttering socially inappropriate language.
Tourette’s is a comorbid condition which means it usually co-occurs with other neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
There is no cure for Tourette’s. Treatment may include medication and cognitive behavioral therapy including exposure and response prevention.
This has been your Medical Minute.