Is TikTok causing Tourette symptoms?

More teenage girls reporting having tics

More teenagers have been reporting new tics associated with Tourette syndrome. What they have in common: Most of them watch TikTok videos from influencers with the syndrome. Experts say the videos might be "training" the viewers' brains.

Is TikTok causing people to exhibit symptoms of Tourette syndrome?

There has been a rise in symptoms of Tourette’s recently -- mostly among teenage girls -- and the social media app might be to blame.

Researchers at the Wall Street Journal found that many of the girls reporting having tics also shared an interest in watching TikTok videos made by influencers who have Tourette’s. Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago call the soar in symptoms a “pandemic within a pandemic.”

Related: Study: More screen time, less exercise has negative impact on kids’ mental health

Many of the same girls who are reporting new tics also reportedly had a history of anxiety or depression.

Health experts say that the tics are likely being learned and copied from the TikTok videos. They also say the learned behavior can be treated with therapy.

More news: Mental Health Matters: How to spot and help children in crisis

About the Author:

Rhonda Walker has been helping Detroiters get motivated and ready for the day for the past 22 years. A confessed morning person, this award winning talented and versatile journalist starts her day at 2:00 am to co-anchor the weekday morning newscast at WDIV-Local 4 News. A position she’s held since 2003.