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Reducing TD Symptoms May Boost Overall Mental Health

June 17, 2020

Treatment of tardive dyskinesia (TD) with vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) inhibitors may improve patients’ overall psychiatric condition in addition to reducing TD symptoms, a study of real-world data found.

For the study, clinicians who had prescribed a VMAT2 inhibitor in the past 24 months were invited to complete a survey and provide charts of 1 to 10 patients with TD for data extraction. The survey asked about TD symptomatology and impact, primary and comorbid psychiatric conditions, and treatment outcomes. Information on patients’ demographics, treatment with a VMAT2 inhibitor, and antipsychotic treatment was extracted from the charts.

Clinicians reported data on 601 adults with TD. Of the 163 responding clinicians, 113 were psychiatrists, 46 were neurologists,  and 4 were primary care physicians. Half of the patients were male and the mean age of the patients was 50.6 years. They were taking antipsychotics for schizophrenia (32%), bipolar disorder (29%), schizoaffective disorder (23%), and/or major depressive disorder (11%). About two-thirds of the patients had a psychiatric comorbidity, such as anxiety (33%), depressive symptoms (28%), or substance abuse (18%).

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Improvement in TD symptoms was reported in 540 patients (90%), and most of them had functional improvements in 1 or more area. Among those patients, 374 (69%) had “much” or “significant” improvement in their psychiatric condition.

“In this real-world sample of patients, treatment with a VMAT 2 inhibitor improved TD symptoms and TD-related outcomes. These improvements also appeared to be associated with better psychiatric status,” researchers wrote. “Clinicians/payers/professional organizations should consider symptom impact and treatment outcomes when evaluating TD therapies.”

The study abstract was to be presented at the 2020 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting, which was canceled.

—Terri Airov


Lundt L, Franey E, Yonan C. Chart extraction/clinician survey shows symptom impact and favorable treatment outcomes with VMAT2 inhibitors in patients with tardive dyskinesia. Neurology. 2020; 94 (15 Supplement): 14.

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