Associations Between Cognitive Impairment and Tardive Dyskinesia: Another Perspective

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The extended administration of neuroleptics, especially those of high potency, is the essential etiologic factor in the development of tardive dyskinesia (TD). Schizophrenic patients, almost all of whom receive neuroleptics to reduce psychotic symptoms, are therefore at risk for the development of TD. In this review of the literature, we propose that neuroleptic use is not the sole risk factor for the emergence of TD. Rather, we attempt to demonstrate that impairments of cognitive function play a role in the development of TD. Furthermore, we show that this idea has explanatory value for understanding higher rates of TD in the elderly.

J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60(suppl 13):17-21