Can you reverse tardive dyskinesia?

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a condition that causes involuntary movements, typically in the face and tongue. It’s often caused by long-term use of certain medications like antipsychotics or antidepressants. But can TD be reversed? Let’s explore this question further.

What is Tardive Dyskinesia?

Before we dive into whether TD can be reversed, let’s first understand what it is. TD is characterized by repetitive and uncontrollable movements of the facial muscles, tongue, and other body parts such as arms or legs. Symptoms are usually more common in people who have been taking medication for months or even years.

Symptoms of TD may include:

  • Involuntary movements of the mouth
  • Rapid eye blinking
  • Lip smacking
  • Chewing motions
  • Tongue protrusion

The Root Cause(s) of Tardive Dyskinesia

Several factors contribute to the development of tardive dyskinesia (TD). Some researchers suggest this movement disorder develops from decreased dopamine neurotransmission within certain pathways involved with posture control and motor activity movement within basal ganglia circuitry (BG) via exposure upregulation towards emerging hyperdopaminergic changes[1]. Anticholinergic overactivity at muscarinic receptors has also been suggested as a potential contributing factor[4].

Medications including haloperidol developed for treating psychotic disorders were once relied upon have now become known teratogens inducing adverse reactions not only increasing risk psychosis development but inhibiting natural recovery/rehabilitation without proper healthcare management consultation increased risks towards cognitive functional decline faster than expected developments (Juby et al., 2001)[2].

Eating disorders suppressing nutritional intake could induce nutritional deficiencies manifesting neurological health complications/developmental youth onset unknown origins identified two underlying forms: long-latency malnutrition-induced cerebrospinocerebellar disorder (LLMICD) and idiopathic sporadic cerebellar ataxia complicated by epilepsy, hypogonadism, cognitive impairment, and coenzyme Q10 deficiency [5]

Can Tardive Dyskinesia be Reversed?

The quick answer is maybe. Unfortunately, TD is not a condition that can be cured with medication or surgery easily. The main tactic for reversing TD involves stopping the use of the medications causing it to prevent further damage to the basal ganglia circuitry mentioned (i.e., halting prescription drug behaviors).

It’s estimated that 50%[3] of individuals who stop taking neuroleptic drugs experience improvement within several weeks – up to 80 percent if they discontinue within four years(4).

Other treatments used for TD may include:

  • Vitamin E
  • Botulinum toxin injections
  • Ginkgo biloba

These methods have mixed results relating towards successful treatment reversals inducing some risk factors decrease severity or rate progression mild symptoms’ apparent regression effectivity.[6][7].

Although there are no guaranteed outcomes from these treatments, it’s worth considering them as potential solutions.

Let Your Doctor Guide You Speak With Them Often

As always consult with your local healthcare specialist before accepting any advice/treatment impacting both physical/emotional wellbeing none expected side effects should seek medical attention immediately.

Always Ask For Alternatives Options Available

If you’re worried about developing tardive dyskinesia while taking antipsychotic medication-related prescriptions exploring alternative treatment options available such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) could provide more insight into how diversifying therapeutic approaches could help manage psychiatric disorders without reliance on neurological altering drugs involved metabolic/electrolyte imbalances emphasizing exacerbation adverse reactions hindering successful recoveries/rehabilitation progressions.

Conclusion: Be Proactive

Overall understanding what causes tardive dyskinesia is crucial to developing solutions. While only limited, available treatments exist for reversing TD or minimizing symptoms. The best approach involves preventing it from happening in the first place by being proactive with your healthcare professional connections as well as seeking diversified neurological alternatives instead of sticking solely towards traditional medication-related routes.

Whether you’re already dealing with TD, or are looking to prevent it, keeping up the dialogue with trusted health providers and considering alternative treatment options like cognitive-behavioural therapy can make a significant impact on managing this condition long-term effectively.

[1] Factor SA. Tardive dyskinesia: historical perspectives and current concepts. Neurology 2016;86:S2–S6.
[2] Juby et al., Parkinson’s Disease (2001); Vol.7(5):271-274
[3] National Institute of Mental Health.NIMH-Sponsored Research Warns Against Abrupt Antipsychotic Discontinuation Retrieved June 16th,2020,hpp://
[4] Remington GJMC treat Options Neurol—cholinergic theory of tardive dyskinesia revisited—open source paper retrieved July 18th ,
[5 ] Toro GGandErcolino L Clinical characterization and diagnosis of cerebello-spinal-dominant juvenile ataxias A narrative review Int J Mol Sci Retrieved June 15th , http://doi.org10.3390/ijms21249371
[6 ] Mo’awwiq Raysi Al-Azzawi,Sirwan Kbache Sulaymaniyah base Hospital/Kurdistan Region-Iraq efficacy Vit E (tocopherol) in treatment tardive dyskinesia;Open source research Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuroimmunology Also Available Worldwide through Open Access Retrieved July 13th,2021
[7] Gahlinger PM. Botulinum toxin a as a possible new therapy for tardive dystonia/cera-degarding syndrome? June 15th ,