Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Are teens and young adults really getting tics from TikTok?

It’s the kind of medical mystery that terrifies parents. Teenagers and young adults have been showing up to health centers with sudden-onset verbal and physical tics. Repeating words like “beans.” Shouting phrases such as “flying sharks.” Uncontrollable head-jerking.

One thing that these cases have in common: Spending a lot of time on TikTok and other social media platforms. But can you really get tics from TikTok?

Nora Saks and Ben Brock Johnson take a deeper look in this excerpt from WBUR Podcast’s Endless Thread.

This article was originally published on

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit