Transient Tic Disorder (Provisional Tic Disorder) – Brief Overview

Transient Tic Disorder

What is transient tic disorder?

The transient tic disorder, which is also known as provisional tic disorder, involves physical and verbal tics. A new diagnosis was given to this disorder in 2013 when the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-5) was published. Tics are sudden, uncontrollable movements or sounds that deviate from normal behavior. People who suffer from tics may blink rapidly and repeatedly, regardless of whether anything is irritating their eyes.

Tics affect every individual differently. People with tic disorders may act out uncontrollably or make loud noises. There is no cure for tics, but they are typical in children and can last for several months. Those who have transient tic disorder display distinct physical or vocal tics. Up to 10 percent of children suffer from tics during their early childhood, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

A person suffering from both physical and verbal tics is termed to have Tourette syndrome, which occurs at the same time. Both types of tics are associated with a provisional tic disorder, but they usually occur separately.

Read: Motor Disorders

What causes transient tic disorder?

No cause has been identified at this time. There are a variety of factors that contribute to Tourette syndrome and other tic disorders.

Researchers believe that some tic disorders are inherited. Tourette syndrome can sometimes be caused by a genetic mutation.

There is also some evidence that brain abnormalities are responsible for the syndrome. Disorders like depression and ADHD may result from abnormalities of the brain.

The neurotransmitters may be involved in transient tic disorder, some research suggests. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry nerve signals between your brain and your cells. Despite this, no study has completely established neurotransmitter function. Transient tic disorder is treated with medications that change neurotransmitter levels.

What are the symptoms of transient tic disorder?

There are many disorders associated with tic behavior such as Tourette’s syndrome, chronic motor or vocal tic disorder, and transient tic disorder. If your tics do not fall into one of those categories, your doctor may diagnose your disorder as nonspecific.

It is often mistaken for nervous behavior when people have tics. When stressed, they become more intense, and they don’t occur while sleeping. Tic usually doesn’t have a regular rhythm, but it occurs repeatedly.

Tics may be associated with uncontrollable movements like raising eyebrows or shrugging shoulders, or may even cause flared nostrils or clenched fists. Physical tics occur in such cases. Sometimes, tic symptoms include clearing your throat, clicking your tongue, or making certain noises, such as grunting or moaning.

Read: Facial Tics Disorder

How is transient tic disorder diagnosed?

Transient tic disorders, like other tic disorders, cannot be definitively diagnosed. Tics can sometimes be mistaken for other disorders, making their diagnosis more difficult. A persistent sniffling or twitching of the nose could be the result of allergies.

Your doctor will examine you physically (especially a neurological examination) and review your medical history if you have tics. If you do this, any underlying medical conditions that are causing your symptoms will be eliminated.

If the tics are a symptom of something more serious, such as Huntington disease, your doctor may order other tests, including brain CT scans and blood tests.

Transient tic disorder must be diagnosed if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Tics must be either motor (such as blinking, shaking your shoulders, or humming) or vocal (such as screaming a word or phrase).
  • They must be more frequent than 12 months in a row.
  • Tic must begin before the age of 18.
  • You cannot have symptoms that are caused by medication or drugs, or by other medical conditions such as Huntington disease or postviral encephalitis.
  • No chronic motor or vocal tic disorder should be present, including Tourette syndrome.

Exams and tests

Transient tic disorder will be diagnosed based on its physical causes.

A child who exhibits provisional tic disorder has almost daily tics for at least four weeks, but less than a year.

It is important to rule out conditions such as anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), uncontrollable movements (myoclonus), obsessive-compulsive disorder and epilepsy.

Read: Stereotypic Movement Disorder

How is transient tic disorder treated?

Most children go without treatment after experiencing transient tic disorder. The tics shouldn’t be pointed out by family members or teachers. Doing so can trigger self-consciousness in the child and make their symptoms worse.

When the tics affect work or school, you may need a combination of therapy and medication. It is important to control and manage stress because it can worsen or increase tics.

Treatments for tic disorders include cognitive behavioral therapy. An individual learns to inhibit the use of self-destructive behaviors, thoughts, and emotions during these sessions.

Some people can reduce their symptoms of tic disorders with medication, but it cannot completely cure the disorder. Depending on your condition, your doctor may prescribe a medication that decreases dopamine levels in your brain, including haloperidol (Haldol) or pimozide (Orap). It is possible that dopamine influences tics.

Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants to treat your tic disorder. They can be helpful with anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms, as well as transient tic disorders.

Read: Focal Dystonia

How long does transient tic disorder last?

It can be frustrating to live with transient tic disorder. Fortunately, the disorder is manageable. You can reduce your symptoms by keeping your stress levels low. Medicine and therapy can also be helpful in some cases.

Providing emotional support and helping to ensure that their children’s education is not compromised are important roles of parents of children with provisional tic disorder.

The symptoms usually resolve within a few months. Research indicates that children with tics who did not have them over a year ago might have a positive outlook. Over the next 5 to 10 years, these kids have only about a 30% chance of being tic-free.

It’s important to watch for any changes in symptoms. There is a possibility that transient tic disorder can develop into Tourette syndrome or other more serious conditions.

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