Tourette Syndrome (often referred to as “Tourette’s Syndrome”, which I’ve been told is incorrect) is one of those disorders that is easy to make fun of. It’s hilarious to hear someone scream out four-letter words at random, right?
In reality, it’s not much fun, of course. And 3 out of every 1,000 kids have it, according to a new report from the Yale University School of Medicine.
In 1980, “the definition of the condition was broadened to include milder cases,” according to Lawrence D. Scahill, an associate professor of nursing and child psychiatry at Yale. That meant that the number of cases increased. For awhile the estimate was 6 out of every 1,000 children. Now it’s half that, and Scahill feels that this is because we are not identifying people with Tourette. “Half of the cases are being identified and monitored,” he says, “but half are not.”
Tourette (again, I’ve been told that “Tourette’s” is the wrong way to refer to the syndrome) is more than just yelling out “sh*t” when you wanted to say “pass the butter, please.” There are various tics that can occur, some more minor than others. The key, according to an article in U.S. News and World Report, seems to be identifying the cases and providing proper treatment.
Whenever I see the definition of something being “expanded” I always wonder why. Take autism as an example. There are more and less severe cases on what is now known as “the autism spectrum.” But all types of autism are not created equal. This isn’t to say that one form is more worthy of attention than another. But if they aren’t the same, why give them the same name? Tourette Syndrome could be going down a similar path, if it isn’t there already.
Source: U.S. News and World Report