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Nicholas Addison Thomas

Director of Content Marketing, National Council for Behavioral Health

Campaign Spotlight: Improving Education on Tardive Dyskinesia

December 9, 2019 | Treatment | Comments
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Many people are unfamiliar with tardive dyskinesia (TD). It’s a disorder that is often overlooked – yet, an estimated 500,000 people in the U.S. are currently experiencing its symptoms.

TD is an involuntary movement disorder characterized by repetitive and uncontrollable movements that is commonly associated with the prolonged treatment of antipsychotics. Although uncommon, it is estimated that up to 30 percent of people who are taking antipsychotics may develop TD. Despite the social, emotional and physical impact it can have on people, little is known about this disorder.

While not everyone who takes an antipsychotic drug for a long period of time will get TD, understanding signs, symptoms and treatment options are important for those who live with it. With this in mind, we launched an awareness campaign designed to connect individuals to resources and information they may need on their journey toward recovery, and to help providers assess and manage TD in their patients.

From May to November, we highlighted the clinical manifestations of TD, its effects those who experience it and potential management and treatment options, among other topics. Here’s a reminder of what we did:

  • Shared an infographic that offers a high-level overview of how to identify and treat TD.
  • Hosted a webinar with Leslie Citrome, MD, MPH, a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at New York Medical College, that taught providers how to better:
    • Understand the causes and symptoms of TD.
    • Recognize the impact TD can have on patients’ health, wellbeing and daily functioning.
    • Identify assessment approaches through the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS).
    • Review treatment options available to patients experiencing TD.
  • Led a Twitter chat with Caregiver Action Network that focused on the common symptoms of TD, as well as the important role caregivers play in the delivery of treatment.
  • Created a series of social media posts that brought attention to TD and its impacts and directed people to a resource website for additional information.

The TD campaign is just one example of our commitment to educate individuals in need and the providers who are addressing those needs. In doing so, we can enable the improvement of – and increase access to – service delivery nationwide. To learn more, please contact us.