Texas Children's helps young boy battle seizures and tic disorder

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Texas Children's helps young boy battle seizures and tic disorder.

It can be frightening for any parent when their child suddenly shows signs of a neurological disorder. If the issues develop quickly, what type of doctors can help, where do they turn to for diagnosis, and what medications are available to alleviate the symptoms? Those are some of the issue one family was up against earlier this year.

When Danielle Burk's son, David, developed those symptoms earlier this year, it was life changing.

"He started having these seizure episodes and these tics. It's very very frightening," Burk explained.

David had six seizure episodes in a row, so they took him in for diagnosis. Dr. Mered Parnes is the Director of the Pediatric Movement Disorders Clinic at Texas Children's. He says through medication, they were able to fully control and eliminate the seizures. But the tics continued.

"Technically, what David has is called provisional tic disorder," Dr. Parnes explained.

Over time, David may be diagnosed with Tourette's. For that to occur, the patient must present at least two movements and one sound for one year.

"He doesn't meet the time criteria yet. Most likely he will," Dr. Parnes said.

David explained to us in his words what it's like.

"I feel a vibration and then it comes up and when I don't do it, it just stays there until I do it," David said.

Dr. Parnes said, "that uncomfortable sensation builds up to a point where it's not tolerable anymore and then the person has to make the movement or sound and then it will go away for a little while, and then it will build back up again. If they're not bothersome, then we leave them alone. If they are, then we try and tune them up a bit."

Being seizure free is something the family is grateful for. So the goal moving forward is to lower the number of tics to improve David's quality of life.

"They feel pretty confident that this is what we're going to deal with and it's going to be manageable," Burk said.
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