International Tourette’s Awareness Day Date in the current year: June 7, 2024

International Tourette’s Awareness Day International Tourette’s Awareness Day, also known as Tourette’s Awareness Day, Tourette Syndrome Awareness Day or TS Awareness Day, is observed annually on June 7. It was created to dispel misconceptions about a common neurological disorder that is often misunderstood and misrepresented in the media.

Tourette (or Tourette’s) syndrome, also know as simply Tourette’s or TS, is an inherited neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by multiple tics, i.e. unpredictable and involuntary movements or sounds. It was named after the French neurologist George Gilles de la Tourette who was the first to describe the disorder in 1885.

Tourette’s usually begins in childhood or adolescence. People affected by the syndrome typically have at least one vocal tic and multiple motor tics. Common motor (movement) tics associated with Tourette’s include blinking, sniffing, throat clearing, coughing, facial movements, and more complex tics like echopraxia (mirroring other people’s actions), palipraxia (repeating of one’s own movements), and copropraxia (involuntary usage of obscene gestures or inappropriate touching). Vocal (phonic) tics include echolalia (repetition of other people’s vocalizations), palilalia (repetition of one’s own vocalizations), and coprolalia (involuntary swearing).

There is no cure for Tourette syndrome and no medication that can effectively relieve all the symptoms. Behavioral therapy is the first-line treatment for Tourette’s. It focuses on helping patients manage the most impairing or troubling symptoms. Tourette’s often co-occurs with other disorders such as OCD, ADHD, or sleep disorders, which typically require their own treatment methods. Although Tourette’s can’t be cured, its symptoms usually subside as children get older. Almost 40% of children with Tourette’s see complete remission through adulthood and another 40% will have mild or minimal tics as adults.

Tourette’s used to be regarded as a bizarre and rare condition, and was strongly associated with coprolalia. However, it is now known that Tourette’s is a common condition. An estimated 1% of school-age children and adolescents have Tourette’s, although the exact number is unclear because most cases are mild and therefore not diagnosed. As for coprolalia, it affects only about 10% of all Tourette’s patients. Unfortunately, negative stereotypes about Tourette’s still persist, which is why it is so important to raise awareness of the syndrome and destigmatize it.

International Tourette’s Awareness Day is observed during Tourette’s Awareness Month, which lasts from May 15 to June 15. You can get involved with the awareness campaign by learning more about Tourette’s and sharing the facts you’ve learned with others. If you have Tourette’s or know have someone who has, consider sharing your experiences to help fight misconceptions about the syndrome and encourage people to be more accepting of those with neurological disorders.

Other ways to participate in TS Awareness Day include wearing teal clothes or a teal awareness ribbon to initiate conversations about Tourette’s, donating to organizations that support people with Tourette’s and their families, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtags #InternationalTourettesAwarenessDay, #TourettesAwarenessDay and #TSAwarenessDay.

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