Functional Tic Disorder — It’s a condition neurologists say could be influenced by videos on social media, some of which are about tics and Tourette syndrome.
“There’s been an influx, a huge influx, over the past year,”Dr. David Isaacs is a Vanderbilt University Medical Center Neurology Assistant professor and Division of Pediatric Neurology Pediatrics assistant Professor.
“Flailing movements of their arms. Even self injuries. So they’re, you know, striking themselves. You know, just where there’s multiple steps to a sequence, you know, and these movements or they’re saying entire phrases, you know, swearing.”
Dr. David Isaacs believes that social media’s visual aspects are having an impact.
“I do think that all of the disruption of the routine and the stress that had been, you know, either directly or indirectly, due to COVID, I think that has to be a factor,”He noted.
Tourette syndrome is often mistakenly misdiagnosed with Functional Tic Disorder. Dr. Isaacs states that Tourette syndrome is a slow-developing condition in early childhood, and requires different treatment. Functional tic disorder is severe and comes on suddenly.
“It’s frightening for a lot of people because they’re, you know, doing well and then suddenly have all this where many of them have to leave school or, you know, it’s really disruptive,”He added.
Disruptive but there are thankfully options for recovery. Therapy and counseling can help.
Dr. Isaacs insists that more research must be done.