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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Nervous Tics

12/19/2007

Question:

What causes it, what is it and how can it be treated?

Answer:

Tics are stereotyped (repetitive) motor and/or vocal utterances which are neurologically based and so are not caused by stress although they can be worsened briefly by stress. The primary cause is thought to be genetic although the genes and risk factors for their transmission is uncertain. Tics usually are not disabling or impairing and treatment is based on whether they interfere with a individual’s social interaction, academic or work performance or quality of life.

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati