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Avatar universal

Has anyone ever notice a seasonal change in tic severity?

My son is 8 years old now and we noticed his tics when he was about 6. Initially, his tics included opening his mouth wide, rolling and bobbing his head, stretching his neck and moving his wrists. Eventually, he started hopping a bit, extending his arms and having vocal tics. When he was 7, I noticed that his tics were significantly reduced five days into a trip to the Caribbean. The following summer which happened to be very sunny, it seemed that again the severity of his tics was reduced. We live in British Columbia (Pacific northwest), so we tend to have less sun exposure than other parts of North America. I started wondering if sun exposure may affect my son's tics or if TS or tic disorders are linked to vitamin D deficiencies but could not find anything in the scientific literature.
I was wondering if anyone has ever noticed anything like this, i.e. a seasonal change in tic severity, or has heard anything about the link of vit D to tic disorders.
11 Responses
657784 tn?1224654469
I haven't heard about any direct relationship between tics and the season, but since tics are greatly affected by mood changes (which affects anxiety) I have noticed that when I go to the beach or the pool during summer I tic somewhat less because I am relaxed and enjoying myself. during the winter (I hate the cold) I feel less comfortable and uneasy which in turn makes me more fidgety. This is not to say that vitamin D has no affect, I'm not a doctor, but the more your son is relaxed, enjoying himself, and less anxious the fewer tics he will likely have. Its just something I have learned from having TS for over 15 years.
Avatar universal
Although my ticks are only mild,I have noticed they are a lot better during the Summer. Apparently, sunlight increases serotonin which in itself has been said to relieve some the symptoms of TS. I've been looking at ways to incease serotonin in my diet like eating more fish,eggs and nuts etc but I think I'll need to stop smoking and drinking before I'll be able to feel any benefit.  Also I've been reading about tryptophan and 5-htp which sounds promising. I'll let you know how I get on..
Avatar universal
Thank you ajcanny and Adalad for your comments.
It makes sense that enjoying the sun and doing what he loves best probably has a positive impact on my son's tics. I was quite amazed though that his tics virtually disappeared over the summer.
Milder versions of tics have reappeared over the winter months so I assume these fluctuations are part of the disorder. However, I have been giving my son a children recommended vitamin D supplement every day.
Avatar universal
My 7 year old son also has worse tics in the fall and spring. During the summer they mostly disappear.  I wonder if pollen or other seasonal things affect tics?  The tics are mu c h more noticable as soon as summer ends.  Does anyone have any suggestions?
I have the same thing but think it may be related to barometric pressure. ???
Avatar universal
My daughter also has tics that increase beginning the end of fall every year until the beginning of spring.  That is in addition to other triggers that include any type of environmental, dietary or emotional stressors that exist.  I have recently done quite a bit of reading on the effects of dysfunction of vitamin D receptors which I understand are present in nearly every cell of the body.  Although we all experience improvement in health when we supplement with vitamin D, I have found that when we take vitamin D with a probiotic, the absorption is incredible and the increase in feelings of wellness are beyond compare.  The vitamin D supplement we use is Nature Made softgels, and the probiotic is usually Align (Bifantis) and lactobacillus acidophilus.  The probiotic seems to clear any sort of film that may be present in the intestine that inhibits absorption.  This really has been remarkable for us.  Please be sure to do your reading on the subject of these supplements, and I hope this provides some relief for you.  Best Wishes.
Avatar universal
My question is it "Seasonality" or "School" related?

My daughter's tics decrease to almost nil in the summer.

I notice that they come back hard on her first day back to school in September.

Her tics continue thru the fall and winter and only start lessening in the spring.

However, I also notice that they improve when she sleeps well so I make sure to protect her sleep.

She takes vitamin D all year round.

Avatar universal
My son developed a facial tic when he was 7.  However, his only come over the winter months.  The tics start around November and continue through until March when they reduce to almost nothing over the summer months.  This pattern has continued every year.  Unfortunately this year they have been painful and his eyelid has swollen slightly.  Using an ice pack helps a little but he is really suffering (and complaining) about it this year.  Planning on taking him to the doctor to get advice on vitamin D.  I am convinced there is a link and am hoping they can give me advice as to what supplement would be the best to use.  Fingers crossed the vitamin D works.
Avatar universal
Absolutely. Mine start in the Spring and disappear as soon as it gets really warm in summer. In late fall, the start again, and are gone when we have a hard freeze.
Avatar universal
My 7 y.o. daughter has had a vocal tic for a couple years now.  Her tic comes on strong in the fall, seems to decrease a bit in the winter and early spring, and then nearly disappears for late spring and summer.  Other triggers (anxiety, too much sugar, lack of exercise, tiredness) seem to affect the symptoms, too, but nothing seems nearly consistent as the time of year.   I do wonder, particularly with she being an anxious kid, how much the stress she feels from school brings on the tics.  However, as I mentioned, the tics are hardly present when we're in May and June and still in school.

A lot of these posts are a few years old.  If anyone sees this I'd love to know if you've learned anymore about a seasonal connection and anything that helps (like Vitamin D).  Thank you very much.
My 8-year old DD has a mild vocal tic that comes on in November, strongest over the holidays, then dissipates slowly and is gone during spring, summer and early fall.  I'm convinced there's a relationship with daylight (we live in Seattle).  I give her Omega Swirl (Barleans) each day from Oct-May which has both the lipids and Vitamin D.
Avatar universal
I searched seasonal tics as my 11 year old son has struggled since he was 7  but contrary to the other posts he suffers most during the 6 week school holidays.
We have tried to identify what changes or increases during the summer break and thought it might be increased cola drinking so reduced/ stopped that one year but no change. We thought it might be late nights as we allowed him to stay up later during the holidays, we reduced them but no change.
This year we are trying reduced screen time, we will update you on the progress.
He is very happy, not anxious and not bothered by his tics as his mum, uncle and grandpa all suffer. So perhaps we should stop worrying but he starts high school this year and it usually takes 6 weeks back at school before they abate.
Avatar universal
Tics can be caused by an immune response, like in PANS and PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder).  So, it would make sense that tics are worse during the fall/winter when viruses and bacteria are heightened.  October is PANDAS awareness month for this reason - because many kids get diagnosed with it during that time of year.

My son only gets tics in the fall/winter.  Hand, foot, mouth, strep, and any other coxsackie viruses are his triggers.  Most kids with PANDAS have low vitamin D.

Another factor could be barometric pressure changes - depending upon your area, the pressure could fluctuate more in the fall/winter.  Whenever a storm rolls in, my son’s tics get worse due to the brain inflammation from the pressure changes.
Thank you very much for this information.  What do you do to treat your son since this is so cyclic?  Do you work with a Children's hospital in your area or a specialist?
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