Assemblyman Titone and Senator Savino: May is Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

May 19, 2010

Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-North Shore) and State Senator Diane Savino (D-North Shore) announced the state Legislature passed resolutions they sponsored declaring May as Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month in New York.

“Having a nephew with Tourette Syndrome has shown me first hand the many challenges of this disorder,” Titone said. “By establishing Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month we can increase understanding and help remove the social stigma associated with TS.”

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. The average onset of TS is between the ages of 7 and 10 years. It is estimated that 200,000 Americans have the most severe form of TS, and as many as one in 100 exhibit milder and less complex symptoms such as chronic motor or vocal tics or transient tics of childhood.

"While knowledge of Tourette Syndrome has dramatically increased in recent years, more can be done. It is my hope that by establishing Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month we can increase tolerance and understanding about the disorder, as well as encourage people to seek medical attention early, in order to get the assistance they need," said Savino.

While there is no cure for Tourette Syndrome, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent both physical and psychological harm. The disorder has a wide expression of severity, which often leads to misdiagnoses. Educational campaigns like Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month can help improve diagnosis and get people with the disorder the help they need, Titone and Savino said.

“Public awareness is essential to removing obstacles facing people with TS,” Titone said. “I hope that Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month will promote tolerance and let people with the disorder know that they can lead successful lives.”

For more information about Tourette Syndrome, you can visit the Tourette Syndrome Association website.