The history of tardive dyskinesia

Paul P. Lerner, Chanoch Miodownik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a potentially permanent condition than can be developed after months or years of taking psychotropic drugs. Spontaneous pathological movements in an oro-facial area and choreoathetoid movements of the extremities in schizophrenia patients are known for over than 140 years. Such movements were seen in 5% to 10% of all schizophrenia patients. However, this epidemiological picture has changed after the introduction of antipsychotic agents into clinical practice. These medications caused movement disturbances usually appearing in the first days to weeks of treatment and involving the extrapyramidal motor system. Five years after chlorpromazine was introduced into clinical practice, the German psychiatrist Schonecker described bucco-oral movements persisting after the neuroleptics were diminished or ceased. Only in 1964, Faurbye and colleagues coined the term "tardive dyskinesia" and described it as a syndrome of abnormal movements following at least 6 months and often many years of neuroleptic therapy. In 1973 Keegan and Rajput suggested the term of "tardive dystonia". The first epidemiological studies showed that the prevalence of involuntary movements in schizophrenia patients varies from 0.5% to 65%. TD is a clinical diagnosis and clinicians should exclude other causes of the patient's movement disturbances. Although the use of second generation of antipsychotics led to a slight lower incidence and prevalence rates, tardive syndromes did not disappear and continue to be an actual problem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTardive Dyskinesia
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Approach
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781536137774
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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