Tardive dyskinesia: 21st century may bring new treatments to a forgotten disorder

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Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a condition that was first described nearly 60 years ago. Despite the tremendous amount of research on pathophysiology and numerous follow-up studies to understand the course and prognosis of TD, effective treatment of the condition continued to elude us until recently.


We review and summarize clinical literature on TD, as well as provide an update on new treatments available.


The emergence of tetrabenazine as a treatment modality decreased suffering and improved quality of life for patients. New agents such as valbenazine, deutetrabenazine, and branched-chain amino acids continue to provide relief to patients, without the troublesome side effects of tetrabenazine.


There continues to be a substantial prevalence rate for the condition with the use of first-generation and second-generation antipsychotics. Because of the potential irreversible nature, legal implication, and high prevalence of TD, we advocate for more research on new treatments for the disorder.

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