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What treatments are available for children with tic disorders or twitches?

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Quick Answer

Behavioral therapies and medications are available for children with tic disorders, depending on the severity of the condition, while botulinum toxin is a temporary remedy for chronic twitches, WebMD states. Most cases of tic disorders and twitches are temporary and resolve on their own.

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Full Answer

Tics are divided into motor tics, which are brief, sudden movements, and vocal tics, as stated by WebMD. Tics are often repeated several times and can be simple movements, such as shoulder shrugging, head jerking or blinking, or complex ones, such as kicking both legs one after the other. Tics can be consciously suppressed, but doing so causes growing discomfort until the tic action is performed. Tics are most common in children, and their cause is unknown. A person with a chronic tic disorder may have both vocal and motor tics, in which case the condition is called Tourette's syndrome.

Twitches, such as twitches in the eyelids, are different from tics in that they are completely involuntary and cannot be controlled, WebMD states. Twitches often get worse after sleep deprivation or intake of caffeine, nicotine or alcohol. Some types of twitches resemble tics, but twitches may be caused by neurons in the brain misfiring, while tics are not. Twitches usually only occur once, rather than repeatedly as with tics.

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