Much of the research regarding Tourette’s syndrome (TS) has focused on why certain individuals develop tics while others do not. However, a separate line of research focuses on the momentary influences that cause tics to increase or decrease in patients who are already known to have TS or another chronic tic disorder (CTD). Environmental and internal variables such as fatigue, anxiety, and certain types of thoughts all have been shown to worsen tic severity and may even overcome the positive effects of treatment. Other influences such as stress, distraction, and being observed have had mixed effects in the various studies that have examined them. Still, other variables such as social media exposure and dietary habits have received only minimal research attention and would benefit from additional study. Understanding the impact of these environmental and internal influences provides an opportunity to improve behavioral treatments for TS/CTD and to improve the lives of those living with these conditions. This review will examine the current literature on how these moment-to-moment influences impact tic expression in those with TS/CTD.
- Tourette Syndrome
- tic disorders