A Cursing Brain? The Histories of Tourette Syndrome

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From our regular book review column.

Those who are unfamiliar with Tourette’s syndrome might consider some of its associated behaviors odd or unusual. These acts include involuntary motor movements, vocal tics, and compulsive behaviors. Perhaps what draws the most attention and curiosity from laypersons are the involuntary shouting and cursing that can occur in persons suffering from Tourette’s syndrome. At present, there is an appreciation for the neurologic underpinnings that contribute to the symptoms of this disorder. This, however, was not always the case. A Cursing Brain? considers the histories of Tourette’s syndrome and places particular emphasis on how external influences have affected the ways in which Tourette’s syndrome has been conceptualized over time.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(7):578