With over 500,000 Americans diagnosed with Tardive Dyskinesia there’s never been more importance placed in early detection.1 This movement based disorder is difficult to live with and carry out day to day tasks which can be brought on from medication. Start an online search today to reveal early symptoms and treatments to safeguard yourself and family.
What Exactly Is Tardive Dyskinesia?
Tardive Dyskinesia is a disorder that’s identified by involuntary and repetitive movements. Usually these motions target the face, but can also affect the trunk, limbs and other extremities.2 The severity of symptoms can differ from person to person as well as the location of where the spasms occur. Symptoms also worsen with fatigue or stress and can even be brought on by alcohol. This condition is difficult to live with and often embarrassing making people feel isolated and depressed as they battle the disorder.
What Causes Tardive Dyskinesia?
The most common cause of Tardive Dyskinesia is long-term use of antipsychotic medication. These drugs are used to treat mental illness, bipolar disorder, and depression. However, they can result in serious side effects like Tardive Dyskinesia.3 In fact recent surveys of people on antipsychotic medication said that almost 60% of patients didn’t know this medication caused such severe side effects.4 Other potential causes include:
- Metoclopramide – a gastrointestinal disorder medication
- Digestive issues – such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or chronic constipation
- Drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease
- Some illegal drugs – like cocaine and methamphetamine
Who Is Most At Risk Of Developing This Disorder?
The people most likely to develop Tardive Dyskinesia are adults over the age of 40 who have been taking antipsychotic medication for an extended period of time. However, children and young adults are also at risk if they take these drugs. If you or someone you know takes any of the antipsychotic medications, be sure to watch for early signs and symptoms so you can get the help you need.
What Are The Early Signs And Symptoms Of Tardive Dyskinesia?
The most common early sign of Tardive Dyskinesia is involuntary movement of the tongue. This can include sticking out the tongue, rapid back and forth movement or side to side movement. Other early signs and symptoms include:
- Rapid eye blinking
- Foot tapping
- Knee shaking
Many Patients Are Simply Unaware They Have This Condition
As the severity of this condition changes form person to person the realisation that they have this disorder is often overlooked. Some people are unaware that the movements are involuntary and they carry out their daily lives without seeking the right medical attention. If you begin to develop any conditions like slurring speech, difficulty swallowing, shortness or other breathing problems you should seek medical attention. Its now considered that up to 25.3% of people who use antipsychotic medications will develop Tardive Dyskinesia in their lifetime.5
Woman Tend To Develop This Condition More
As more patients come to clinics for analysis its been found that women tend to develop this movement disorder more common. Other factors include older age above 40, white or African descent, disorders of the mood or previous brain damage.
Are There Any Long-Term Effects Of Tardive Dyskinesia?
The long-term effects of Tardive Dyskinesia can be serious. In some cases, the movements can become so severe that they cause joint damage or muscle breakdown. The condition can also lead to social isolation and depression. If you or someone you know has Tardive Dyskinesia, it’s important to get help from a doctor or mental health professional so you can get the best treatment available.
What Are The Best Treatments For This Disorder?
The best treatment for Tardive Dyskinesia is to first of all stop taking the medication that’s causing the problem. However, this isn’t always possible or may not be enough to ease the symptoms. Other treatments are available but they are unique to each patient depending on the severity of their psychotic symptoms. The best way to find the specific treatment is to start an online search.
Contact A Local Specialist If You Have Symptoms
When it comes to Tardive Dyskinesia early detection is important to help protect any further debilitation of neurological pathways. Contacting a medical specialist or booking in for analysis is vital to keep this condition under control. Start an online search today to find local specialists near you ready to treat and assess this condition.
Disclaimer: We’re not giving any medical advice but advice of a general nature.