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Tourette's Syndrome

A condition in during which tics and involuntary muscular movements occur with regularity, concomitant with inappropriate vocal exclamations displayed by a person is due to a form of neurological dysfunction is known as Tourette's syndrome. Some of the other physical manifestations of the disorder include the sudden shouting out of obscene words by the person, the sudden activity of stamping the feet, the shaking of the head or flapping the arms violently, and even jerking or shrugging the shoulders repeatedly without any cause. The expected life span for people suffering from Tourette's syndrome is normal and the condition is not lethal, and it usually begins between the ages of two and sixteen. This hereditary disorder affects more males compared to females and has a strong presence in affected families, usually being passed on from one generation to the next. The twitching of the eyes and other muscular tics developed during early childhood are not severe, however these progress gradually to major physical symptoms like the shrugging of the shoulders and the stamping of the feet and become more complex as the person ages. Involuntary noises and vocal exclamations like grunts and barks accompany the muscular tics, words may also be uttered totally unconnected to any thing the individual may be involved in. The physical and especially the social stigma and problem of the syndrome are enormous, even when the non-lethality of Tourette's syndrome is taken into consideration. This severe social handicap precludes an affected individual from participating normally in many day-to-day activities and especially in severe cases may not even allow a person to hold jobs or mix socially. A hyperactive tendency is also evident in all individuals affected by the syndrome.

The dysfunction of neurotransmitters and other biochemical conditions in the brain are suspected to have something to do with the disorder, however, the underlying causes of the syndrome are still a mystery, though genetic causes are implicated in its manifestation in affected individuals and the cause is definitely biochemical in origin. Certain researchers of Tourette's syndrome had mooted a tension reliving mechanism of the body of biochemical and psychological origin; these suggest that the involuntary movements are really manifestations of nervous compensation mechanisms in the body. This may be partly true and is evident that the sufferer often experiences no symptoms during sleep and the symptoms in themselves are greatly heightened under conditions of anxiety, nervousness and stress.

Supplements and herbs

The proper coordination and control of muscular function and the maintenance of neuromuscular properties depends to a great extent on two essential minerals, both of which are also essential to with respect to other biochemical processes in the body, these minerals are magnesium and potassium. The depletion or low levels of these vital minerals often cause a lot of cramps and tremors in the body of the affected individual. The nervous symptoms of trembling due to stress can be inhibited effectively by the vitamin B complex, which greatly calms and soothes nervous system function. Essential to the body in this respect are the vitamins B12 or cyclonobalamine, the vitamin B6 or pyridoxine and niacinamide (niacin) or B3. When consumed and supplemented along with a nutritious and healthy diet, vitamin B6 and magnesium supplements have been shown to be effective against tics and other muscular disorders. To preclude any disorders or imbalances setting in on the body, it is advisable to consume the entire B complex vitamins, via multivitamin tablets. Most B complex tablets are rich in their content of niacinamide and vitamin B6. Intestinal absorption rates for the other important vitamin B12 is often unsatisfactory and the sub- lingual form or method of administration should be preferred.

When consumed by the patient along with the other vitamins and nutrients supplements of the mineral calcium is also recommended, as it will greatly aid in improved muscular functioning and control. Most muscular tremors and tics can be effectively alleviated through the use of the oil of the evening primrose herb as a supplement. The functioning of the nervous system is greatly aided by the essential fatty acids contained in abundant amounts in the oil of the evening primrose.

Tourette's syndrome can at least be made more bearable for the individual through the use of herbs and a variety of herbal supplements, which have negligible or no side effects whatsoever.

Some of the useful herbs that can help in this regard include supplements in tincture, tablet or liquid forms of the following herbs like the chamomile, the commonly available hops, the lady's slipper, the leaves of the passion flower, the skullcap, the wood betony, the roots of the St. John's wort or the valerian, herbal teas can also be made from these herbs if supplementation is preferred in this form. The muscles and the nerves of the affected individual can be relaxed and soother by the high vitamins and minerals content of these herbs. A tea can be made from the herbs in this way by steeping a tsp. of the herbs or a single herb in a cup of boiling water for fifteen minutes; the resulting liquid can be strained and used as a herbal supplemental drink thrice a day during the treatment of the individual. If you prefer to use the tincture form of these herbs, the addition of twenty drops of tincture to a glass of water taken everyday will be sufficient.

Usual dosage

  • Oil of evening primrose, 2x500 mg tablets thrice a day
  • Vitamin B12, 100 mcg
  • Niacin, 1,000 mg
  • Vitamin B complex, 100 mg two times a day or pyridoxal-5-phosphate, 50 mg once a day
  • Magnesium, 500 mg
  • Calcium, 1,000 mg

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