9 early tardive dyskinesia signs that need quick attention

9 early tardive dyskinesia signs that need quick attention ?>

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a neurological condition involving involuntary, uncontrollable facial and jaw movements. The disease is typically caused by specific long-term treatments prescribed to patients with psychiatric conditions. Specifically, these interventions block the brain’s dopamine receptors, triggering the onset of TD symptoms. Although the condition is chronic in many patients, modern interventions have increased its reversibility rate. Identifying the early signs of TD can help one seek timely diagnosis and treatment for this condition:

Jerky arm and leg movements
Sudden stiff and jerky movements of the arms and legs characterize this condition. These movements cannot be controlled and may be accompanied by other body movements like rocking and thrusting of the hips and trunk.

Facial tics
Tics refer to specific repetitive movements that one cannot control. Patients with TD often experience facial tics like lip smacking, rapid blinking, sucking, and fish-like mouth movements. These tics are caused by a patient’s inability to control their lip, tongue, and jaw movements.

Constant fidgeting and pacing
Fidgeting is a common symptom of TD, involving tapping one’s feet or flapping one’s hand repetitively. One may also pace constantly and experience restlessness.

Breathing problems
In some cases, TD might affect the muscles involved in breathing, causing one to experience shortness of breath or gasping for air. This condition is referred to as respiratory dyskinesia.

Duck-like gait
Many patients with TD may develop a duck-like gait characterized by an unsteady walking movement with short strides and constant weight shifting between the feet. Frequent muscle contractions typically cause such movements.

Muscle pain
Constant and repetitive muscle spasms over a while can cause muscle pain among persons with TD, causing considerable fatigue.

Difficulty swallowing
The constant cheek and tongue movements among patients with TD can cause difficulty swallowing, particularly when they begin to swallow. This condition is known as oropharyngeal dysphagia.

Dental problems
Continuous involuntary jaw and mouth movements can cause pain in and damage to oral structures and worsen existing dental conditions.

Neck twisting
Patients with TD may twist their necks with a jerk and in awkward positions, causing neck muscle spasms.

Patients with TD may find it challenging to lead everyday social lives; moreover, their mental health issues may worsen due to the embarrassment caused by involuntary movements. Adequate social support and timely professional help are the cornerstones of managing the condition better.

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