Transient tic disorder is a temporary condition in which a person makes one 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.
The child may have facial tics or tics involving movement of the arms, legs, or other areas.
Tics may involve:
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:
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.
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 medications may help.
Simple childhood tics usually disappear over a period of months.
There are usually no complications. A chronic motor or vocal tic disorder can develop.
Talk to your health care 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 your health care provider right away.
Tic - transient tic disorder
Jankovic J, Lang AE. Movement disorders. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 21.
Ryan CA, Gosselin GJ, DeMaso DR. Habit and tic disorders. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW III, et al., eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 22.
Updated by: Joseph V. Campellone, M.D., Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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