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The National Alliance on Mental Illness defines tardive dyskinesia (TD) as a “movement disorder that may develop months, years, and even decades after taking antipsychotic medication.” Those who need long-term treatment with antipsychotic medications are at risk of developing TD. Some common risk factors for developing TD include: longer treatment with antipsychotic medications, older age of a person receiving these medications, specifically post-menopausal females, substance abuse, being female, and being African American or Asian American.
Symptoms of having tardive dyskinesia include:
The most effective treatment for tardive dyskinesia is prevention. If you are taking antipsychotic medications, it’s important to see your psychiatrist for regular evaluations to ensure that any signs of TD are recognized before they become severe. Currently, there is no medication that can cure TD. Further research into the disorder is needed to test different medications to better prevent and/or treat tardive dyskinesia. Case studies so far have shown that antipsychotic clozapine has been effective in selected cases of TD.
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