Does Dan Aykroyd have Tourette?

Dan Aykroyd. The iconic actor, comedian, musician. While Aykroyd is renowned for his witty performances and ghost-busting abilities, some myth-busting needs to be done.

Does Dan Aykroyd have Tourette Syndrome?

A ghostbuster looks up to a building with the words 'Tackling Tourette' in top right corner

As we know, Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations known as tics.

In an interview with NPR, Dan was asked if he was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child (around the 29 minute-mark), after the interviewer read this online. Dan responded with:

Well it was more of a Tourette's thing, more of a Tourette's and Asperger's which I still have, a little bit today. I grew up (being) pulled one way by my mother who was very very strict and being relaxed by my father who was very passive. I had the Tourette's pretty badly there and I went to a therapist about it... I was able to beat it without pharmaceutical medication.

a sandtimer in Times Square with the words 'vanished like a ghost' in bottom left corner

While Asperger’s and Tourette’s are distinct conditions, they both fall under the umbrella of neurodevelopmental disorders. 

In the interview, Dan describes the tics he experienced and how they affected him:

It was mostly physical tics, a nervousness kind of thing, like grunting and tics... the classic Tourette's type syndrome. But by the time I was 14 it was away.

It is well known that for many people with tic disorders including Tourette, symptoms can reduce or even disappear completely going into late teens and early twenties.

The above quotes do not provide an actual diagnosis, this would have to be provided by Dan himself from a medical professional. Whether this did occur is not clear in the interview.

In a world where celebrities are often placed under a microscope, it’s important to remember that health conditions, whether physical or neurological, do not define a person’s entire identity. Dan Aykroyd’s contributions to the entertainment industry and his discussions about his personal struggles serve as a reminder that individuals are multifaceted, and their experiences cannot be reduced to a single aspect of their lives.

Tourette and other conditions however, don’t have to stand in the way of success.