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Tardive Dyskinesia Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

TD causes repetitive movements. Movements usually occur in the face, mouth, limbs, or trunk. The movements are involuntary and serve no purpose. They may occur occasionally or all of the time. They may be barely noticeable or very pronounced. Symptoms may begin while on the drug or within weeks of stopping it. They can worsen with:

  • Stress
  • Moving other parts of the body
  • Taking certain drugs

Symptoms my decrease with:

  • Relaxation
  • Sleep
  • Purposely moving the affected body part

Symptoms may include:

  • Grimacing
  • Sticking out the tongue
  • Twisting the tongue
  • Chewing
  • Sucking
  • Smacking lips
  • Puckering lips
  • Blinking eyes
  • Facial tics
  • Foot tapping
  • Moving fingers as if playing the piano
  • Rapidly moving arms, legs, or body
  • Writhing movements
  • Pelvic thrusts
  • Grunting
  • Sighing
  • Noisy breathing

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. She will also do a physical exam. Other disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of TD. The doctor will rule out other disorders before making a diagnosis. There is no specific test for TD.

Tests may include:

  • Blood tests to check electrolytes and blood chemistry
  • CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the head
  • MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the brain

CT Scan of the Head

CT Scan of the Head
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2020 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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