And as Mozart grew older and abused this facility for improvising, his best ideas were necessarily aborted by those clichés. Because, in fact, a computer could produce them, really, with a minimum of programming, and so could a five-year-old after a few weeks of theory lessons. So one begins to wonder whether, in circumstances like that, the composer is, in fact, really necessary.
The 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest musical geniuses of all times, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791), provides an opportunity not only to reflect on his immeasurable contributions to the world of classical music, but also to examine him as a man of exceptional creative power. Mozart's biographical accounts often comment on his peculiar behaviour which has been interpreted by some as a manifestation of an underlying neurobehavioural disorder, such as Tourette syndrome (TS). Once considered a rare psychiatric curiosity, TS is now recognised as a relatively complex neurobehavioural disorder, affecting approximately 2% of the general population.1,2 Some studies have suggested that TS affects up to 3.8% of children, and two‐thirds of them have coexistent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) or other behavioural comorbidities.3 Although learning disabilities have been suggested to be present in some patients with TS,4,5 most reach their full potential without any residual psychiatric or neurological handicap. Many notable figures, such as Dr Samuel Johnson, have made extraordinary contributions to the arts and sciences despite, or perhaps because of, their TS.6 Several reports have drawn attention to the observation that some TS patients possess unique talents and skills, similar to individuals with autism and savant syndrome.7,8
Handwriting Tics in Tourette’s Syndrome: A Single Center Study
Tourette’s syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder typically defined by multiple motor tics and at least one sound tic, beginning in childhood or in adolescence. Handwriting is one of the most impaired school activities for TS patients because of the presence of tics that hamper learning processes. In this paper, we present a case of handwriting tics in a TS patient highlighting the main features.
More recently, TS has been acknowledged as a broad spectrum syndrome (2), including different comorbidities and coexisting symptoms. When beginning in early childhood TS mainly presents with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and tics, when beginning in adolescence instead tics and obsessive–compulsive behavior or disorder (OCB/OCD) are predominant. OCB/OCD trait is present in 60–80% of patients (3), and they are considered as thought tics (4). In many cases, motor and sound tics resolve spontaneously in adulthood, though OCB/OCD generally remains.
In our clinical experience, handwriting tics (HT) could severely affect and condition TS subjects, but they are not often pointed out in the Literature. For this reason, there are not precise data regarding the incidence of HT neither in TS patients nor in healthy population.
Patients suffering from TS may have different types of HT: (a) paligraphia, i.e., writing again and again the same letter, or word, or sentence (for instance the subject could write “today today today is a sunny day d d d d”), (b) outlining each letter multiple times (6–8), (c) pulling the pen back while writing (9, 10).
In some cases, HT can be considered simultaneously motor and obsessional because the subject complies with obsessions through tics, e.g., some patients have a lucky number and feel the urge to write the same sentence the lucky number of times. ...
But here's another story, yessiree.
Here's a man of talent, you must agree.
Here is a man with loads of talent, you'll agree.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is his name.
He is no newcomer to this game.
He was a real boy wonder who blazed across the sky,
Oh, but now, but now he's just another grown up guy.
If he'd only make an effort once in a while
He would be living now in style
He spends his time at billiards! Now tell me, is that wise?
Oh he'll be, he'll be a pauper 'til the day he dies!
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