First case of Tourette Syndrome was diagnosed over 150 years ago. Motor and vocal tics, which tend to repeat thorough the day are the main symptoms of TS. The number, intensity and nature of tics changes over time.
We can find reports from Middle Ages, where the symptoms were described as a sign of being possessed by devil and although at some point this theory was given up, the causes were still unknown. The very first case of TS in aristocracy (marchioness de Dampierre) was reported in France, in 1825 by Itard. Following, a French neurologist and neuropsychiatrist, Gilles de la Tourette described 9 cases of the syndrome, observed whilst working at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, in 1885. He emphasised in his reports tridy of tics, urge to say vulgar words and echolalia (repeating what othersare saying).
One of the doctors specialising in psychoanalysis claimed that tics are an effect of suppressed anger, which then manifest itself in violent attacks. Hence, he encouraged patients to express their anger in the most open ways. This theory dominated for quite a while, until 1960, when new drug was introduced, which partially or totally reduced the symptoms. Today we know that TS is a neurological disorder related to dysfunction of dopamine system, a disorder in which part of the brain responsible for feeling urges is not working correctly.
It was primarilythought that TS was a very rare disorder. In the years from 1825 to 1900 23 articles were published in medical literature, most of them merely case descriptions. Published in 1973 international register reported only 485 cases in the whole world. Nevertheless, since then the literature has expanded and many patients now have documentation of their disorder.
The Association offers support to persons with Tourette Syndrome and their families. We create opportunities for them to meet up and interact. Our objective is also to share the awareness about the nature of Tourette Syndrome and indicate the opportunities for therapy.
In order to meet these objectives, the Association has embarked on educational campaign based on spreading the information and publications about TS. The Association collaborates with the specialists and relevant authorities in the fields of education, health and science research.
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Tourette Syndrom Association of Poland enjoys a preferential tax treatment as a Public Benefit Organisation