It is unclear exactly why TD develops. Long-term use of neuroleptic drugs can cause changes in the chemistry in the brain that lead to the symptoms. Nerve cells may also become overly sensitive to certain substances, such as neurotransmitters in the brain. Not everyone who takes these drugs develops TD.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for TD include:
Use of neuroleptic drugs, especially if:
- Taken in high doses
- Taken for a long time, especially more than six months
- Age: 54 or older
- Sex: female
- Possible genetic factor
Having a disease that may require use of neuroleptic drugs, such as:
- Mood disorders or other psychiatric disorders
- Behavior problems that occur with psychiatric or neurologic disorders (eg, agitation in Alzheimer’s disease )
- Digestive disorders such as:
- Parkinsonism caused by neuroleptic drugs
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