Approximately one out of every 200 Americans suffers from a neurological disorder which causes people to have involuntary body movements and vocal outbursts. Known as Tourette syndrome, the affects people of any age and has no known cause or cure....... Read Full Episode Summary »
Approximately one out of every 200 Americans suffers from a neurological disorder which causes people to have involuntary body movements and vocal outbursts. Known as Tourette syndrome, the affects people of any age and has no known cause or cure. In this episode of True Life we meet three individuals whose Tourette's controls - and sometimes ruins - their lives.
Twenty-year-old Lou has dealt with Tourette's for most of his life. For years, he has taken medication to improve his uncontrollable tics and twitching, but eventually opted to quit the meds when they caused him to gain excessive amounts of weight. Lou makes the most of his disorder by spreading
awareness through comedy shows, but there is nothing he wants more than to move out of his parents' house and be active in the dating scene. When a friend agrees to a date, he is thrilled -? but his confidence quickly drops when she denies a goodnight kiss. Lou decides to get on with his life and moves out, but after one month he realizes it's too hard to deal with Tourette's on his own and moves back in with hi
folks. Lou does want to get over his disorder without medication, though, and believes he has the courage and sense of humor to make it through.
Alyssa, 16, suffers from a severe case of Tourette's that causes her to flail her body uncontrollably and shout both words and inaudible shrieks randomly. She has an otherwise great personality and plenty of friends, but when frustrated, she often lashes out, especially at her grandmother, with whom she lives. When Alyssa's doctor recommends an experimental brain surgery that places electrodes in her brain and a generator in her pelvic region in order to improve her Tourette's symptoms by 70 percent, she opts to undergo the procedure. She's completely confident that the
surgery worked, but two months later, she hasn't seen any changes. Fortunately, as her attitude becomes more positive, her relationship with her grandmother improves and Alyssa decides to be more independent.
Being a professional motocross biker takes courage, agility and steady moves, but 24-year-old Jeremy can't always keep
steady because of his battle with Tourette's. Still, he manages to be a successful competitor, but he and his fiancee are concerned that he might lose his grip or sight
of his goal in the middle of a trick. Jeremy prepares for contest season and works on new, daring moves anyway. Then, he crashes during a competition, causing his tibia
and fibula to pop out and his ankle to break. He doesn't believe the accident was Tourette's-related, but still must face the fact that he is out for at least five to six months. Now, he is left to control his nerve-induced twitches for his comeback next season.