If you are new to Tourette Syndrome - there is hope. Most often it is the severe and most distressing symptoms of TS that is presented by the media. But, most TS is not like that. Less than 10% of people with TS ever have coprolalia (involuntary swearing) for instance. Recent research (in UK and US) show that 3% of the general secondary school population have enough symptoms for diagnosis of TS. Most of them are unaware and lead entirely normal lives.

It is thought that tics may peak or worsen at or between the ages of 9-15, and thereafter decrease. Many people with TS, about a third, lose all tics completely by adulthood, although tics sometimes do return later in life. Another third experience a reduction in their symptoms by adulthood, and the remaining third have tics (which may be severely disruptive) throughout their life. However, as can be seen from the list of positives - the vast majority of people lead a successful life. Another study (Leckman et al 1998) has shown that the average age of worst tic severity is 10 years, and that in nearly half of patients, the tic symptoms will remit completely by the age of 18.

It’s important to note too, that the TS sufferers involved in any research are likely to have more severe symptoms requiring attendance at the specialist TS clinic conducting the research.