Transient tic disorderTic - transient tic disorder
Transient tic disorder is a condition in which a person makes 1 or many brief, repeated, movements or noises (tics). These movements or noises are involuntary (not on purpose).
Transient tic disorder is common in children.
The cause of transient tic disorder can be physical or mental (psychological). It may be a mild form of Tourette syndrome .
Tourette syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make repeated, quick movements or sounds that they cannot control.
The child may have facial tics or tics involving movement of the arms, legs, or other areas.
A facial tic is a repeated spasm, often involving the eyes and muscles of the face.
Tics may involve:
- Movements that occur again and again and do not have a rhythm
- An overwhelming urge to make the movement
- Brief and jerky movements that include blinking, clenching the fists, jerking the arms, kicking, raising the eyebrows, sticking out the tongue.
The tics often look like nervous behavior. Tics appear to get worse with stress. They do not occur during sleep.
Sounds may also occur, such as:
- Throat clearing
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will consider physical causes of transient tic disorder before making a diagnosis.
In order to be diagnosed with transient tic disorder, the child must have had tics almost every day for at least 4 weeks, but less than a year.
Other disorders such as anxiety , attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ), uncontrollable movement ( myoclonus ), obsessive-compulsive disorder , and epilepsy may need to be ruled out.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental disorder in which a person is often worried or anxious about many things and finds it hard to control ...
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem caused by the presence of 1 or more of these findings: not being able to focus, being ov...
Uncontrollable movements include many types of movements that you cannot control. They can affect the arms, legs, face, neck, or other parts of the ...
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions...
Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures over time. Seizures are episodes of uncontrolled and abnormal firing of brain c...
Doctors recommend that family members do not call attention to the tics at first. This is because unwanted attention may make the tics worse. If the tics are severe enough to cause problems at school or work, behavioral techniques and medicines may help.
Simple childhood tics usually disappear over a period of months.
There are usually no complications. A chronic motor tic disorder can develop.
Chronic motor tic disorder
Chronic motor tic disorder is a condition that involves quick, uncontrollable movements or vocal outbursts (but not both).
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Talk to your child's provider if you are concerned about a transient tic disorder, especially if it continues or disrupts your child's life. If you are not sure whether the movements are a tic or a seizure , call the provider right away.
A seizure is the physical findings or changes in behavior that occur after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The term "seizure...
Ryan CA, Trieu ML, DeMaso DR, Walter HR. Motor disorders and habits. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics . 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 139.
Singer HS. Tics and Tourette's syndrome. In: Swaiman K, Ashwal S, Ferriero DM, Ferriero D, eds. Swaiman's Pediatric Neurology . 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2012:chap 70.
Central nervous system - illustration
The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.
Central nervous system
Review Date: 2/27/2016
Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.