Tardive dyskinesia is a neurological syndrome caused by the long-term use of neuroleptic drugs. Neuroleptic drugs are generally prescribed for psychiatric disorders, as well as for some gastrointestinal and neurological disorders.
Tardive dyskinesia is characterized by repetitive, involuntary, purposeless movements. Features of the disorder may include grimacing, tongue protrusion, lip smacking, puckering and pursing, and rapid eye blinking. Rapid movements of the arms, legs, and trunk may also occur. Impaired movements of the fingers may appear as though the patient is playing an invisible guitar or piano.
Administration of the trace mineral manganese (at 15mg per day) may prevent the development of tardive dyskinesia and higher amounts (up to 60mg per day) may reverse tardive dyskinesia that has already developed. [Manganese in dyskinesias. Am J Psychiatry 1976; 133: p.105, Am J Psychiatry 1997; 134: p.1448]
A double-blind study demonstrated that 10mg of melatonin given at 8pm for 6 weeks is an effective treatment for tardive dyskinesia, although the magnitude of the effect was only modest. Other natural substances that have been reported to improve tardive dyskinesia include vitamin E, manganese and vitamin B6. It is possible that using these compounds in combination would be more effective than using any one individually. [Arch Gen Psychiatry 2001;58: pp.1049-52]
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