Transient tic disorders are characterized by a single or many motor tics. Tics are brief, rapid, repetitive movements often resembling nervous mannerisms.
Tics are typically simple twitches of muscle. There is a huge range in severity. Most mild, transient tic disorders are never brought to the attention of a healthcare professional.
Signs and symptoms of tics depend on the type.
Motor tics can cause: eye blinkingneck jerkingshoulder strugglinghead banginghead turningtongue protrusionlip or tongue bitingnail bitinghair pullingfacial grimaces
Vocal tics can cause: coughingthroat clearinggruntingsniffingsnortinghissingclickingbarking
Transient tic disorders are more common in children. Tics are made worse by stress and usually go away during sleep.
There is no known prevention for tics.
The diagnosis of transient tic disorder is made when a person experiences the symptoms. The tic must occur every day for at least 4 weeks for the diagnosis to be made. Physical causes of tics should be ruled out.
Transient tics tend to disappear on their own over a period of months.
Tics are not contagious, and pose no risk to others.
Transient tics usually do not require treatment. It is recommended that family members try to ignore the tics at first, because unwanted attention may make the tics worse. If tics cause problems in school or work, behavioral therapy may be used. Medications such as clonidine and phenothiazine may be effective in suppressing tics.
Phenothiazine may cause slow rhythmic, automatic movements known as tardive dyskinesia. Clonidine and phenothiazine may cause drowsiness and a drop in blood pressure upon standing, called orthostatic hypotension.
The tics usually disappear over a period of months.
The person affected or the person's family can monitor transient tics. A healthcare professional should be notified if the tic becomes disruptive in the person's daily activities, or about any other new or worsening symptoms.
Professional Guide to Diseases: 6th edition, 1998
Stuart and Sundeen, Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing: 4th edition, 1991
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, 1994