Future directions in tardive dyskinesia research

  • Jonathan M. Meyer
    UCSD Dept. of Psychiatry, 4225 Executive Square - Suite 1130, La Jolla, CA 92037, United States.
    University of California, San Diego, United States

    California Department of State Hospitals (DSH), Psychopharmacology Resource Network, United States
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Published:February 05, 2018DOI:


      • Future research demands a consensus TD definition. The Delphi model is proposed as an ideal method to generate consensus.
      • Important research topics include development of new TD screening tools and use of technology to support clinical assessment.
      • TD pathophysiology is poorly understood. Clinical marker discovery will require human genetics, imaging and animal data.


      Tardive dyskinesia (TD) research is at a crossroads because of renewed interest in this syndrome following the successful development and regulatory approval of two novel vesicular monoamine transport 2 (VMAT2) inhibitors. Despite these clinical advances, significant lacunae exist in the knowledge base of TD pathophysiology, prognosis, and epidemiology. Moreover, conflicting definitions of TD as either a syndrome that encompasses a broad array of related phenomena or as a specific subset of tardive syndromes are an impediment to both clinical and basic science research, and to educational efforts targeting nonspecialist clinicians. A unique opportunity is thus presented by the enhanced focus on TD to resolve fundamental issues with regards to nomenclature and clinical criteria, thereby facilitating more sophisticated surveillance and genetic and epidemiological research into tardive movement disorders related to dopamine receptor blocking agents. The widespread use of newer antipsychotics portends that TD will remain a persistent public health issue. This article will present one view of research avenues to be explored for this neuropsychiatric condition, including those that may yield immediate therapeutic benefits by extending expert knowledge into routine clinical care situations.


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