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Tardive dyskinesia update: the syndrome

  • David Cunningham Owens (a1)
Summary

Tardive dyskinesia is a common iatrogenic neurological and neurobehavioural syndrome associated with the use of antidopaminergic medication, especially antipsychotics. Prior to the introduction of the newer antipsychotics in the 1990s, it was one of the major areas of psychiatric research but interest waned as the new drugs were reputed to have a reduced liability to extrapyramidal adverse effects in general, a claim now discredited by numerous pragmatic research studies. Early small-scale short-term prevalence studies were presented as evidence to support the assumption that patients on the newer drugs did indeed have a lower prevalence of tardive dyskinesia but recent large-scale review of studies with patients exposed for longer suggest that things have not changed. This article presents a clinical overview of a complex and varied syndrome in terms of its phenomenology, epidemiology and risk factors; a companion article will consider treatment. This overview aims to highlight tardive dyskinesia once again, especially to practitioners who have trained in an environment where this was considered mainly in historical terms.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Understand the complex phenomenology comprising the syndrome of tardive dyskinesia
  • Appreciate recent data on prevalence and incidence with the newer antipsychotics
  • Be aware of risk factors when recommending antipsychotic (and other antidopaminergic) drugs

DECLARATION OF INTEREST

None.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence Professor David Cunningham Owens, University Division of Psychiatry, Kennedy Tower, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 5HF, UK. Email: david.owens@ed.ac.uk
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Tardive dyskinesia update: the syndrome

  • David Cunningham Owens (a1)
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