Guest blog: 5 things to know about tardive dyskinesia

MHA Admin

Tue, 11/07/2023 – 14:11

Actor portrayals
by Celia Zinger, M.D., executive director, Medical Affairs at Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.

This post was sponsored and developed by Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.

Some people living with a mental health condition may also experience tardive dyskinesia (TD), an involuntary movement disorder associated with prolonged use of certain mental health medicines (antipsychotics) that are used to treat bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder.

During National Family Caregivers Month, here are five ways you may be able to support someone you know living with TD

1. What is TD?

TD is a chronic condition in which people taking certain mental health medicines (e.g., antipsychotics) to treat conditions – including bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder – experience mild, moderate, or severe involuntary movements in different parts of their bodies. These movements can impact people physically, socially, and emotionally. TD can affect one’s ability to work, drive, button a shirt, or eat and drink.

TD affects approximately 600,000 people in the United States, and about 70% of those living with TD have not yet been diagnosed.

2. What are the symptoms associated with TD?

TD is characterized by uncontrollable, abnormal, and repetitive movements in the face, torso, and/or other body parts. This can include hand or foot movements, rocking of the torso, lip smacking, grimacing, eye blinking, tongue protrusion, facial movements, or puckering and pursing of the lips.

3. What causes TD?

TD is associated with prolonged use of antipsychotics and certain prescription medicines used to treat gastrointestinal disorders (metoclopramide and prochlorperazine). These medicines block dopamine receptors in the brain, which can result in irregular dopamine signaling in the part of the brain that controls movement. Symptoms may occur after a few months of taking antipsychotic medication.

Additional factors that may increase the risk of developing TD include:

Being 50 years of age or older.
Female being postmenopausal.
Substance abuse.
Having a mood disorder.

4. What can I do to help someone who may have TD?

TD can exacerbate feelings of vulnerability, embarrassment, and frustration and impact a person’s overall well-being. To support them, it’s important to:

Understand how to recognize TD movements, whether mild, moderate, or severe.
Educate yourself on the cause and impact of TD.
Keep an eye out for the symptoms of TD.
Encourage them to talk to their health care provider.

5. Where can I learn more?

For more tips to help support someone living with TD, visit

For a disorder that affects hundreds of thousands of people, use this National Family Caregivers Month to better inform yourself and learn how to care for someone who may experience TD.

Celia Zinger is the executive medical director of medical affairs, psychiatry, at Neurocrine Biosciences. Zinger previously served as the clinical development and medical affairs lead for product candidates in the rare epilepsy and neurodevelopment disorders space, and she trained as an M.D. at the University Paris XII in ophthalmology and public health.


The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
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At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

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We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

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Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

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The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: