Which physical findings are characteristics of akathisia in tardive dyskinesia (TD)?

Updated: Oct 17, 2018
  • Author: James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Tardive akathisia includes the presence of subjective symptoms of restlessness and the urge to move. It refers to the inability to sit down or remain still. People with tardive akathisia exhibit constant pacing and moving of the hands and feet. They typically shift their weight from one foot to the other when standing and swing their legs when sitting.

Akathisia can be objectively and readily assessed in clinical settings by using the Hillside Akathisia Scale (see the image below). [47, 48, 49] For this evaluation, examine the patient with his or her feet bare and hands exposed so that movements of the extremities can be observed. Ask the patient to sit, stand, and lie still for 2 minutes in each position.

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