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The Genetic Disease Tourette Syndrome

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Genetic diseases are diseases passed down through heredity and genes. Tourette Syndrome is one of the more common genetic diseases. Although it is made fun of in television and movies, Tourette Syndrome is a very serious disorder.Tourette Syndrome, or TS, is an inherited, neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary body movement (tics) and uncontrollable vocal sounds. The cause of TS has not yet been established completely; however scientists do know it’s inhered as a dominant gene or genes. Scientists also know that it stems from an abnormal metabolism of atleast one brain chemical (neurotransmitter) called dopamine. TS causes different symptoms in different family members. A person with TS has a 50% chanof passing the gene to each child with each pregnancy. The sex of the child helps to determine the expression of the gene. There is a 3-4 times more chance of a son having the gene than a daughter. Only about 10% of TS patients get severe enough toquire medical attention. Some cases aren’t inherited and are called sporadic TS. There are no absolute figures that exist as far as the number of people in the world suffering from Tourette’s because many people living with Tourette’s have yet to be dgnosed. The official estimate of Americans suffering from TS is about 100,000 people.TS was first seen in 1825 in the Marquise de Dampierre, a noblewoman, whose symptoms included involuntary tics of many parts of her body and coprolalia(vocal outbursts). Georges Gilles de la Tourette is the French neurologist who discovered and namede disorder in the early 1800’s. In 1992, the British Medical Journal published an article by Benjamin Simkin speculating that Mozart had Tourette Syndrome. An Associated Press story about those articles was picked up by newspapers all around the worldausing an international sensation. The article was later retracted, but there’s still speculation about Mozart actually having Tourette’s. He was reported as having frequent mood swings, tics, sudden impulses and a love of nonsense words. He was alsobserved spinning, leaping, fidgeting and performing strange motor movements. Doctors will never no for sure if Mozart really did have TS.Many symptoms exist with Tourette Syndrome patients. They include involuntary body movements called tics. These consist of but are not limited to eye blinking, arm thrusting, kicking movements, shoulder shrugging, and jumping.

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