Cannabis and Tourette Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome is a common genetic neurological disorder characterized by chronic motor and vocal tics. Affected individuals typically have repetitive, stereotyped movements or vocalizations, such as blinking, sniffing, facial movements, or tensing of the abdomen. Other manifestations include attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, poor impulse control, and other behavioral problems. Symptoms vary significantly from one patient to another, and the tics are often not the most disabling features of this condition.
While the mechanism of Tourette Syndrome remains unknown, research suggests that it is an inherited, developmental disorder of neurotransmission. This disorder affects approximately 1% of the population and is 5 times more common in males. Symptoms range in severity from annoying to disabling. Patients with loud vocalizations or large movements either endure substantial criticism or withdraw from many activities. Prejudice in work and school settings is common. Inadvertent injuries, such as broken bones and joint degeneration can also occur after years of simple yet repetitive tics and accidents are common.