What is dopamine?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter chemical which helps brain cells communicate – specifically its reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine deficiency can result in Parkinson’s disease, and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction, according to Psychology Today.
Can TD be treated?
In short, yes. Initially, treatment of tardive dyskinesia begins with discontinuing the neuroleptic drug as soon as one experiences involuntary movement.
In 2017, the FDA approved the treatment of adults with tardive dyskinesia using Ingrezza (valbenazine). Ingrezza is manufactured by Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) reports.
In the meantime, “studies are ongoing to determine possible new drug therapies for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia. Choline, lithium, bromocriptine, baclofen, methyldopa, valproate, clonidine, propranolol, amantadine, clonazepam, and nifedipine have occasionally been helpful but in most cases, do not improve dyskinesia. Tetrabenazine is often useful for symptomatic treatment of tardive dyskinesia and is currently available for use in the US. However, it carries the risk of causing or aggravating depression,” NORD states.
Other experimental drugs are being tested to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of TD altogether.
While alternative treatments may not be in sight, experts suggest that weening off of drugs used to soothe certain mental, neurological, or gastrointestinal disorders is a good starting place.