I wrote yesterday about how having a cold seemed to have exacerbated the frequency of my ‘ticcing fits’ and, predictably, last night was disrupted by a lot of them. Leftwing Idiot was on hand to make sure I was OK and we all slept in and took it easy today to compensate.
I also had a very sore throat, and this reminded me about the theory that Tourettes is triggered by streptococcal infection. Streptococus is a bacterium that causes throat infections like tonsillitis and scarlet fever. As a child I had scarlet fever and as a teenager and young adult I had repeated bouts of tonsillitis. But the link with Tourettes is contentious, with scientists unable to agree if there even is one.
There are other conditions that look similar to Tourettes which are known to be caused by streptoccal infection. One is Sydenham’s Chorea which used to be known as St Vitus Dance. It’s characterised by rapid, uncoordinated jerking movements. Another is PANDAS which affects children and has symptoms even more like Tourettes.
There’s a strong case for the view that Tourettes is a geneticly inherited condition and in my family there is a history of tics. But today made me reflect on the times when I’ve been ill in the past and how these do seem to correlate to times when my tics have worsened. But of course, this could be completely coincidental.