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Tourette’s Syndrome: Cause, Onset, Symptoms, and Treatment Options (Part 5)

June 15th, 2010

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Neuroleptics is a specific class of drugs primarily used to treat motor and phonic tics and include Primozide, Fluphenazine, Thiothixene, Chlorpromazine, Triflueoperazine, Thioridazine which alter the effects of dopamine in the central nervous system while possessing anticholinergic and alpha-adrenergic blocking activity. Risperidone, another neuroleptic drug, acts as a dopamine and serotonin receptor antagonist to decrease motor and phonic tics. Clonazepam, an anticonvulsant, produces sedative effects in central nervous system with a high affinity for the y-gamma aminoburic acid (GABA) receptor, increasing synaptic serotonin. This medication decreases aggressive behavior, emotionally labile behavior, and tics. Clonidine, an antihypertensive alpha blocker, stimulates the alpha adrenergic receptors in the central nervous system to inhibit cardioacceleration and vasoconstriction. This medication is an adrenergic agonist that decrease tics while increasing attention levels. Finally, the drug Nifedipine, an antihypertensive calcium channel blocker, acts upon slow calcium channels invascular smooth muscle and myocardium to produce vasodilation in decreasing tic symptoms (Tourette Syndrome Online). Overall, many pharmacological advances have been effective in decreasing symptoms; however, more research is needed on a medication that could cure Tourette’s syndrome.

Tourette’s syndrome is a very complex disorder resulting in vocal and motor tics, aggressive behavior and is often associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Although behavioral therapeutic, surgical, pharmacological, and other treatments are available, continued research will be needed to determine the exact cause of this syndrome and improve treatments.

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