Drug-Induced Movement Disorders

  • J. M. S. Pearce
  • C. C. Clough


The introduction of effective antipsychotic drugs in the early 1950s produced a revolution in the care of acute and chronic psychoses (Delay et al., 1952). Many patients with schizophrenia who previously would have been confined to mental hospitals for life were able to lead almost normal lives in the community, their psychotic symptoms being adequately controlled. This pharmacological miracle was not without its drawbacks. It soon became apparent that these drugs were not only attended by the usually recognized side effects such as cholestatic jaundice, but also had remarkable effect on the control of movement, i.e., on the extrapyramidal system. The first problem to be noted in this regard was drug-induced parkinsonism (Steck, 1954). Early on in their use it was felt that a drug’s antipsychotic action paralleled its ability to produce parkinsonism. The impassive facies, flexed posture, and other parkinsonian features soon became a commonplace finding in mental institutions. Initially, this did not cause undue concern as it was felt that this was a small price to pay for control of mentally disturbed patients.


Movement Disorder Tardive Dyskinesia Neuroleptic Drug Parkinsonian Sign Acute Dystonia 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. S. Pearce
    • 1
  • C. C. Clough
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyHull Royal InfirmaryHullEngland
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyQueen Elizabeth HospitalBirminghamEngland

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