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Triple Tourette's.

Triple Tourette's

A set of triplets, born in Sweden 57 years ago, was separated shortly after birth and each child was reared by an adoptive family. Although the two girls and one boy did not reunite until they were 47 years old, each developed Tourette's disorder by age 5, thus providing "unique evidence that genetic factors are important in the development of this disorder," according to a report in the February AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY.

Tourette's disorder involves repeated, multiple tics of the face, body and voice. Eye blinking is a common symptom, as are sticking out the tongue, clearing the throat, stuttering and uttering senseless sounds or obscenities.

The triplets do not share carbon-copy symptoms of Tourette's disorder, note Nancy L. Segal of the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research in Minneapolis and her co-workers. The man suffers predominantly from frequent eye blinking. One of his sisters is troubled mainly by head jerks, shoulder jerks and kicking leg movements, as well as by periodic facial tics and grunts. The other experiences infrequent eye blinking and facial tics accompanied by right-leg kicking when she is outdoors.

Environmental events may have helped to create the variation in symptoms, the researchers say. However, scientists do not know how family and social factors might influence the expression of Tourette's disorder.
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Title Annotation:triplets with Tourette's disorder
Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 24, 1990
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