Dan Aykroyd makes heart wrenching tribute to Carrie Fisher
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“I was diagnosed with Tourette’s at 12,” Dan Aykroyd revealed. “I had physical tics, nervousness and made grunting noises.” The 70-year-old continued: “It affected how outgoing I was. I had therapy, which really worked, and by 14 my symptoms eased.”
What is Tourette’s syndrome?
The NHS says: “Tourette’s syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.”
Typically, people first experience Tourette’s during childhood, between the ages of two to 14.
Examples of physical tics include:
- Eye rolling
- Shoulder shrugging
- Jerking of the head or limbs
- Touching objects and other people.
Examples of vocal tics include:
- Throat clearing
- Tongue clicking
- Animal sounds
- Saying random words and phrases
- Repeating a sound, word or phrase
Tics can be worse on some days than others, especially when faced with an external stressor, anxiety, or when feeling tired.
“Most people with Tourette’s syndrome experience a strong urge before a tic,” the NHS adds.
“[The urge before a tic] has been compared to the feeling you get before needing to itch or sneeze.”
Such an urge is known as a premonitory sensation that feels like it can only be relieved after the tic has been carried out.
With concentration, tics can be controlled for a short while, which can get easier over time.
As for Dan Aykroyd, his tics were short-lived, as therapy helped him overcome Tourette’s syndrome.
In the interview with the Daily Mail, Aykroyd added: “I also have Asperger’s but I can manage it.”
The NHS says the signs of Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism, includes not understanding non-verbal signals, such as facial expressions.
Asperger’s could cause a person to use language in an “over precise, over literal manner”.
Abstract thinking can be difficult, and people with Asperger’s syndrome “often develop an almost obsessive interest in a hobby”.
Aykroyd revealed: “One of my symptoms included my obsession with ghosts and law enforcement.”
This fixation on ghosts could have been handy when it came to him starring in the 1984 blockbuster Ghostbusters.
Ghostbusters is only one of the successful films Aykroyd has featured in over the years.
Notably, Aykroyd starred in the 2004 comedy, Christmas With The Kranks, alongside Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Christmas With The Kranks is airing on Sunday, October 23 at 2.45pm on channel 5.
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