Written by Andy Woolfoot
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Topics: Tourettes, Summer

Thursday, 7 September 2006

image for Tourettes increase 'a mystery'

REPORTED cases of Tourettes Syndrome in schoolchildren in the UK have increased by at least 2500 percent over the summer period, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The surge was first noticed around mid-July, about two weeks into the seventh series of Big Brother, and has skyrocketed since.
Figures released this week show before June, the figure was roughly one percent of all schoolchildren, but by the time the Channel 4 show was over thousands more had told their schools they had the hilarious disease.
Experts have admitted they have no explanation for the increase.
Teachers have also reported that almost all of these new cases have extreme Coprolalia - the involuntary and inappropriate use of obscenities as a tic - which usually occurs in about ten percent of all sufferers.
Sue Conroy, a teacher in Gloucestershire who asked not to be named, said: "I really feel sorry for them. About half of my class have developed it over the summer and I'm worried the disruptions may affect their schooling. Lessons now seem to be like sitting through a Bernard Manning show.
"One of my pupils has got it so bad he once repeatedly shouted 'bollocks' at the top of his voice for 20 minutes without stopping. It's terrible if you think about it but the rest of the class just seem to find it funny."
Doctors are baffled by the sudden explosion in numbers but one believes the blame lies with England's World Cup team.
Dr Shapiro Finance from Great Western Hospital said: "Think about it. What have our children been watching on television all summer - Wayne Rooney that's bloody who.
"Ever since he was seen telling David Beckham to 'f*** off' against Northern Ireland in a qualifying match the kids must have been copying him.
"The man is a disgrace to the entire nation. He seems to swear every time a decision goes against him, the fat c***."
He added: "Where else on television are these youngsters going to have seen people sayings things like 'w*****' all the time over the summer?"
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Education, said: "It's just something we need to learn to accept."
Everyone in Glasgow was yesterday unavailable for comment.

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