Tics
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with Physician-supervised AI

Reviewed By:

Bret Mobley, MD, MS

Bret Mobley, MD, MS (Neuropathology)

Dr. Mobley graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, completing a masters degree in neuroscience between his second and third years of medical school. He trained as a resident in pathology at Stanford University Hospital before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and to Neuropathology Division Director in 2020.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

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  • I have a habit of jerking my face

  • I shake my shoulder unconsciously

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About the Symptom

Tics are repetitive movements or sounds. The person experiencing tics cannot control them. Tics are due to changes in the parts of the brain that control movement.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Irresistible urge to make small movements

Possible causes

Generally, Tics can be related to:

  • Spiny red cell chorea

    Spiny red cell chorea, also known as chorea-acanthocytosis or Levine-Critchley syndrome, is a very rare neurological disorder characterized by high numbers of misshapen, spiny red blood cells (acanthocytes) circulating in the bloodstream, combined with rapid, involuntary, purposeless movements (chorea). Additional symptoms can include include seizures and odd behavior. The disorder is caused by a mutation on the VPS13A gene and runs in families.

  • Tics

    A condition where patients experience a strong, almost irresistible urge to perform an action like shaking their head, squeezing their eyes, or making a particular noise. Most tics improve with the transition to adulthood, but may persist for some. Known triggers include sleep deprivation, excitement, and stress.

  • Hyperactivity disorder

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition characterized by attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. It often begins in childhood and can cause a child to have trouble in school, at home, or with friends. Causes may include genetics, head injury, exposure to environmental risks (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or at a young age, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy, premature delivery, and low birth weight. It is more common in male children.

  • Paroxysmal exercise-induced dance athetosis

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do you have repetitive movements like shoulder jerking, facial muscle twitching, or eye blinking?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you have headaches or a heavy feeling in your head?

  • Do you struggle to focus or feel less aware of your surroundings?

  • Do you feel any numbness or altered sensation?

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Find Similar Symptoms

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Reviewed By:

Bret Mobley, MD, MS

Bret Mobley, MD, MS (Neuropathology)

Dr. Mobley graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, completing a masters degree in neuroscience between his second and third years of medical school. He trained as a resident in pathology at Stanford University Hospital before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and to Neuropathology Division Director in 2020.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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