Common Tics Observed Among Tourettes Patients

Below is a list of some behaviors (tics) observed in people diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.  It should be noted that not everybody with TS experiences each kind of tic known and recorded.  And at that, not all Tourette patients experience tics throughout their life; for some, tics may only recur periodically or for a short span of someone’s life.  Tics can be classified as simple or complex- the latter of which are distinct, coordinated patterns of movements involving several muscle groups.

Some examples include:

Simple non-verbal muscular tics

  • eye blinking and other eye movements
  • facial grimacing
  • shoulder shrugging
  • head or shoulder jerking

Complex non-verbal motor tics

  • facial grimacing combined with a head twist and a shoulder shrug
  • sniffing or touching objects
  • hopping
  • jumping
  • bending
  • twisting.

Simple vocalizations

  • throat-clearing
  • sniffing
  • snorting
  • grunting
  • barking

Complex vocalizations

  • shouting out/repeating words
  • shouting out/repeating phrases

The most dramatic and disabling tics

  • motor movements that result in self-harm such as punching oneself in the face
  • coprolalia (uttering socially inappropriate  words such as swearing)
  • echolalia (repeating the words or phrases of others)