Handbook of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders, Volume III

pp 109-134


Antioxidants as a Treatment and Prevention of Tardive Dyskinesia

  • Vladimir LernerAffiliated withDivision of Psychiatry, Ministry of Health, Be’er Sheva Mental Health CenterFaculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Email author 

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Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is characterized by repetitive, involuntary, purposeless movements of the tongue, lips, face, trunk, and extremities that occur in patients treated with long-term dopaminergic antagonists and following exposure to L-dopa, amphetamine, metoclopramide, cinnarizine, flunarizine and other substances. The term tardive dyskinesia refers to: classical TD (bucco-lingual-masticatory triad), tardive akathisia, tardive dystonia, tardive tremor and other tardive extrapyramidal subsyndromes. The mechanisms of TD remain unclear, although pathophysiologic theories have proposed mechanisms such as dopamine receptor supersensitivity, the degeneration of cholinergic striatal interneurons, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) depletion, and an excess of free radicals. Though a wide range of medications for the treatment of TD has been studied, management of this distressful side effect remains a significant problem for patients and a therapeutic conundrum for physicians. According to current concepts, antioxidants such as vitamins and other antioxidative agents may be considered active components of putative therapies because antioxidants inhibit free radical distractive activities. This chapter focuses on evidence from clinical and basic science studies that support the role of antioxidants (vitamins B6 and E, omega-3, ginkgo biloba, piracetam) as potential neuroprotective compounds and effective medications for the prevention and management of TD.


Neuroprotection Vitamin B6 Vitamin E Omega-3 Piracetam Ginkgo biloba Schizophrenia Tardive dyskinesia Clinical trials