A ticis a sudden, rapid, recurrent, nonrhythmic, stereotyped motor movement or vocalization. Motor and vocal tics may be simple (involving only a few muscles or simple sounds) or complex (involving multiple groups of muscles recruited in orchestrated bouts or words and sentences). Tics are generally experienced as irresistible but may be suppressed for varying lengths of time. Many individuals with tics report experiencing a premonitory urge, which is a rising tension or somatic sensation in a part of the body that precedes the motor or vocal tic, and a feeling of relief or tension reduction following the expression of the tic. Simple motor tics: Examples include eye blinking, nose wrinkling, neck jerking, shoulder shrugging, facial grimacing, and abdominal tensing.
Complex motor tics: Examples include hand gestures, jumping, touching, pressing, stomping, facial contortions, repeatedly smelling an object, squatting, deep knee bends, retracing steps, twirling when walking, as assuming and holding unusual postures. This category also includes copraxia (a sudden, tic-like vulgar, sexual, or obscene gesture) and echopraxia (involuntary, spontaneous imitation of someone else's movements).
Simple vocal tics: Examples include meaningless sounds such as throat clearing, grunting, sniffing, snorting, and chirping.
Complex vocal tics:These tics more clearly involve speech and language and include the sudden, spontaneous expression of single words or phrases, speech blocking, sudden and meaningless changes in the pitch, emphasis, or volume of speech, palilalia (repeating one's own sounds or words), echolalia (repeating the last-heard sound, word, or phrase), and coprolalia (suddent, inappropriate expression of a socially unacceptable word or phrase and may include obscenities as well as specific ethnic, racial, or religious slurs).
Tic Disorder References
A meta-analysis of behavior therapy for Tourette syndrome. McGuire, Joseph F.; Piacentini, John; Brennan, Erin A.; Lewin, Adam B.; Murphy, Tanya K.; Small, Brent J.; Storch, Eric A.; Journal of Psychiatric Research, Vol 50, Mar, 2014 pp. 106-112.
Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with tic disorders. Murphy, Tanya K.; Lewin, Adam B.; Storch, Eric A.; Stock, Saundra; American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), Committee on Quality Issues (CQI); Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol 52(12), Dec, 2013 pp. 1341-1359.
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