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TikTok Allegedly Gives Teen Girls Tics Similar to Tourette, Doctors are Alarmed

(Photo : Unsplash/ Christian Wiediger) TikTok challenge

TikTok is reportedly responsible for a bizarre phenomenon that is seen among teenage girls, according to physcians at hospitals.

The phenomenon involves girls developing tics, or physical twitches, which experts believe may have been derived from the popular social media site.

TikTok’s Effects on Teenage Girls

After months of studying, doctors believe TikTok trends and the boredom caused by the pandemic is the source of the unusual tic, according to The New York Post.

Also, the Tourette syndrome influencers on TikTok contribute to this trend. Popular hashtags like #tourettes and #tourettesyndrome has attracted more than 6.2 billion views as on Oct. 20.

Also Read: TikTok Weird Food Trends: Mustard on Watermelon is Viral Now But How’s the Taste?

In the United States, doctors are doing extensive research to discover the underlying cause of the sudden rise in Tourette-like cases, including the most recent article released by doctors in Chicago that was published in Movement Disorders with the title “TikTok Tics: A Pandemic Within a Pandemic.”

Tourette syndrome is a nervous system disorder that causes repeated and uncontrolled movements like seizure-like jerks and blinking. Severe cases of Tourette syndrome leads to patients uncontrollable noisy outbursts.

Rise in Tics

According to The Wall Street Journal, there is a rise in tics across several hospitals in the United States. At Texas Children’s Hospital, the patients with tics that are recorded per year is just one or two before the pandemic.

The rate has now multiplied by a couple of dozen, and there are now 60 patients reporting tics since March 2020.

Also, Johns Hopkins University Tourette’s Center saw 20% of its pediatric patients arrive with these symptoms since last year, whereas the typical rate before the pandemic was only 3% every year.

In Chicago, Rush University Medical Center doubled their annual rate of patients that have tics, from 10 in 2019 to 20 in 2020.

Donald Gilbert, a neurologist and specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, told The Wall Street Journal that he has seen 10 new patients, which are teenagers with tics, every month for the last 18 months. Before March 2020, he only saw one patient every 30 days.

The restrictions set by the coronavirus pandemic has caused anxiety and depression, and it may also have contributed to the trend as stress is known to manifest as physical symptoms.

The previous studies support the psychological origins of inexplicable clusters of people with Tourette-like disorders.

Dr. Mariam Hull from the Texas Children’s Hospital said that some children have pulled out their phones and showed her their TikTok and that it is full of Tourette cooking and alphabet challenges.

A spokeswoman for TikTok stated that the safety of the users is their priority and they are consulting with industry experts to know more about the ongoing issue.

TikTok has seen a rise of very unusual trends, from trends that is done at home to those done in school.

Meanwhile, the event has not risen to the levels of a pandemic just yet.

Dr. Joseph McGuire from Johns Hopkins said that there are children who watch social media and develop tics and there are some who do not have any access to social media at all and they develop tics.

Some doctors are incredulous that some Tourette influencers on the social media platform do not look like Tourette syndrome to them.

The fact that most of them are women is highly noted, as the disorder is known to affect more men. Also, the tics can be mitigated with proper medication.

Related Article: TikTok Financial Advice Is the New Craze for Gen Z Viewers | #personalfinance at 4.2 Billion Views

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by Sophie Webster

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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