Tourette’s Disorder is a continuous, hereditary neuropsychiatric (attributed to the nervous system) disorder that involves bodily and vocal spasms/tics that first started in childhood. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)* has made a distinction between the incessant/chronic tics and those tics that have existed for a minimum of a year or less that could possibly be related to another disorder. The DSM-5 has also eliminated the criteria that the tics cause the person difficulties in functioning.

*The DSM-5 is published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Signs of Tourette’s Disorder DSM-5 307.23 F95.2

Tourette’s Disorder is distinguished by tics, which are abrupt, repeated vocal sounds or jerky, rapid and non-suppressible movements that are mainly in the muscles of the face. The following are the two types of tics and their descriptions.

Motor Tics

Motor tics—or movements—include eye blinking, jaw movements, facial grimacing, bobbing or jerking of the head, shrugging the shoulders, stretching the neck and lurching of the arms. In multiple muscle groups, which are called complex motor tics, there is a blending of movements that are likely to be slower and more deliberate in their appearance, such as jumping and hopping.

Vocal Tics

When the person with Tourette’s Disorder makes vocal ticks, they can include sniffing, grunting, shouting, clearing the throat and hooting. When there are a group of words (phrases) that are also known as complex vocal tics, they may or may not be discernible, and they are repeatedly said out of context and are not fully understood. In up to 15 percent of people with the disorder, the words may be improper, such as curse words, ethnic slurs and other unsuitable phrases or words.

There are three tic disorders, according to the DSM-5.

Provisional Disorder

  • One or more motor or vocal tics started before the individual turned 18 years old, but have existed for less than one year.
  • The individual must not have had one of the other tic disorders in the past.


  • One or more vocal or motor tics, but not both types.
  • The tics have happened several times daily almost every day for more than 12 months.
  • The tics started prior to 18 years old.
  • The individual does not fit the criteria for Tourette syndrome.

Tourette’s Disorder

  • Many vocal and motor tics present.
  • Tics appear several times a day for a minimum of one year.
  • The tics began prior to 18 years old, but they do not result in extreme difficulties in functioning.

In all of the disorders above, the tics must not be caused by medications, a medical condition or drugs.

What are the Causes of Tourette’s Disorder DSM-5 307.23 F95.2?

Research indicates that Tourette’s Disorder is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain (the frontal lobes, the basal ganglia and the cortex); the circuits that connect these areas of the brain; and the neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin) that are accountable for the communication among nerve cells.

Many people with Tourette’s Disorder also have neurobehavioral—the relationship between the action of the nervous system and behavior—problems that cause even more difficulties than the tics. Some of these include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; obsessive compulsive symptoms; and difficulties with math, reading and writing. (

How is Tourette’s Disorder DSM-5 307.23 F95.2 Treated?

The treatment for Tourette’s Disorder should be directed toward treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or other disorders/conditions that may coexist and cause even more difficulties for the individual.

The individual, his family members, teachers at school and certain people at a job may gain a better understanding of the disorder by being educated about it.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may help to relieve the depression and isolation that a person may have because of the disorder. In addition, therapy that includes the family members can help to provide a network of support for the individual.

What Factors Cause the Tics in Tourette’s Disorder DSM-5 307.23 F95.2 to Increase?

Some of the factors that cause tics to escalate are:

  • Stress.
  • Prior to and following the completion of skilled tasks.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sickness.
  • Allergies.
  • Time pressure (stress from being on a tight schedule).
  • Arousal.
  • Caffeinated beverages or foods.
  • When the individual is asked to hide the tics.
  • Heat.
  • Discussing the tics with the individual.

Some of the factors that cause a reduction in tics are:

  • Being consumed by something else (not anxiously).
  • Sleeping.
  • Distractions.
  • Vacations.
  • New or unique situations.

Famous People With Tourette’s Syndrome/Tourette’s Disorder

Some of the most famous musicians, actors, athletes and comedian have been diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome/Tourette’s Disorder. In spite of living with the disorder, many of them went on to achieve greatness. The following are a few well-known people who were thought to have had or were diagnosed with the disorder.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Endocrinologist Benjamin Simkin wrote an article in British Medical Journal, where he said he believed Mozart had Tourette’s syndrome. His speculations come from reading letters that Mozart had sent to his cousin, where he used words having to do with bodily functions and other obscene phrases. He was also known to be hyperactive, had mood swings, made up his own words and had tics.

James Michael Eisenreich
With 15 years in major league baseball, Eisenrich played for the Minnesota Twins, the Kansas City Royals, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Florida Marlins. He retired early because of Tourette’s syndrome. He now runs the Jim Eisenreich Foundation for Children with Tourette ’s syndrome, which he and his wife began in 1996.

Dan Aykroyd
Aykroyd, of Ontario, Canada, received diagnoses for both Tourette’s syndrome and Asperger’s syndrome as a child. When he was a youngster, Aykroyd’s symptoms consisted of grunting and bodily tics when he was nervous. The symptoms ceased when he reached the age of 14.

Howie Mandel
A comedian and the creative force behind many television series, Mandel has Tourette ’s syndrome. In spite of the disorder, he has achieved superstardom, including being voted as one of the “100 Best Stand Up Comedians” in history.

Steve Wallace
Wallace’s name is known to NASCAR fans, but usually not in relation to having Tourette ’s syndrome. He has proven that he can somehow drive at “the speed of light” and cope with his disorder.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
A basketball player for the Denver Nuggets and the Sacramento Kings, Abdul-Rauf was diagnosed with Tourette ’s syndrome and is inspiring to the many children with the disorder who want to achieve athletic greatness.