(BPRW) AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP TARDIVE DYSKINESIA
(Black PR Wire) –
Mental illness was once a subject not often discussed among African Americans, but in recent years, conversations are more open, and people are more comfortable explaining what is happening with them and how their medication makes them feel.
Symptons of Tardive Dyskinesia
One byproduct of mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression not well known amongst patients until it happens is Tardive Dyskinesia (TD). It is the involuntary and abnormal movements of the jaw, lips and tongue. Classic symptoms include facial grimacing, sticking out the tongue, sucking or fish-like movements of the mouth. In some cases, the arms and/or legs may also be affected by involuntary rapid, jerking movements, or slow, writhing movements as defined by the National Organization for Rare Disorders.
Drugs and Tardive Dyskinesia
These symptoms are brought on by prolonged use of antipsychotic drugs known as neuroleptics that block dopamine receptors, which are chemicals in the brain that cause movement. Tardive Dyskinesia will not occur in all who take antipsychotic drugs, but those that do, it can be life changing.
Other factors that put you at a higher risk of developing TD besides being African and African American are:
- being female
- being diabetic
- being older
- having dementia
- having a prior brain injury
- having a problem with alcohol or substance abuse
All is not lost if you develop Tardive Dyskinesia. It is not life threatening, although it may affect how you conduct your life. It is important that you contact your physician immediately if you suspect signs of TD. Although there is no cure, symptoms vary in patients and there are new, more effective neuroleptics combined with new, FDA-approved treatments that are encouraging for those with this condition.
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