Jess Thom says the word "biscuit" about 16,000 times every day. Her brother-in-law counted once.
That's just one of the tics that Thom, a London-based performance artist, has to manage as part of her life with Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary vocal or motor tics. Specialists say the condition affects as many as 300,000 children in the United States, though many are undiagnosed.
Thom has had tics since childhood, but she wasn't diagnosed until her 20s.