What is the role of medical history in the evaluation of tardive dyskinesia (TD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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When a patient is seen for the first time, diagnosis of acute and chronic dyskinesias may be difficult without a careful history. Precise documentation of a patient’s complete movement history and medication history may facilitate accurate delineation of movement disorders. Therefore, a full neurologic and pharmacologic history may provide the basis for distinguishing idiopathic Tourette disorder from acute medication-induced tardive tics.

Patients and families often cannot provide accurate histories; thus, firm diagnoses may be impossible. Because acute and tardive medication effects may occur simultaneously, the distinction may be challenging in a clinical setting. Observing patients carefully on a regular basis and precisely documenting (through the use of structured rating instruments) the phenomenology and topography of movements and the pharmacologic treatments at each visit will help provide a basis for accurate future diagnosis of acute dyskinesia and TD.

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