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AAN 2021 | Is social media causing teenagers to develop severe tics out of the blue?

Specialists are seeing a global increase in reports of sudden onset severe tic-like behaviors in adolescent girls. Tamara Pringsheim, MD, FAAN, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, shares insights into this unusual phenomenon and what could be behind it. Increased social media use during the COVID-19 pandemic could be responsible, with increasing evidence suggesting that online videos are reinforcing symptoms. Many patients presenting with sudden onset tic-like behaviors have comorbid neuropsychiatric disorders, suggesting susceptibility to tic development has been exploited by chronic stress and isolation during the pandemic. Dr Pringsheim also talks on how best to manage these patients. This interview took place during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2021 Annual Meeting.