Republican Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez has filed a resolution to recognize those suffering from Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) during the first week of May.
TD is “characterized by random, involuntary, and uncontrolled movements of different muscles in the face, trunk, and extremities,” as explained by Rodriguez’s resolution (SR 1206). The Movement Disorders Policy Coalition describes TD as “an involuntary, sometimes irreversible movement disorder that can occur due to use of antipsychotics, commonly prescribed to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression, or other medications.”
Those medications work as dopamine receptor blocking agents (DRBAs) and can help treat serious mental health conditions. But some patients also develop TD as a side effect — even months or years after they’ve stopped taking those medications.
Rodriguez’s resolution cites data showing more than 600,000 Americans suffer from TD, and that a quarter of patients who take DRBAs will experience TD.
But individuals are often misdiagnosed, leading lawmakers to push for awareness so patients can receive the care they need. The FDA recently approved two new treatments for TD, though patients taking these medications must be screened for potential TD symptoms.
DRBAs can also be used to treat certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as gastroparesis and nausea. Drinking alcohol in combination with the use of DRBAs can increase the chances of developing TD. Postmenopausal women and people with mood disorders also are at higher risk of developing TD.
Rodriguez backed a similar resolution last Session, as did Republican Rep. John Snyder. Gov. Ron DeSantis also signed a proclamation to help spotlight the movement disorder. Several other states have also recognized TD Awareness Week.
But last year’s resolution was not recurring, meaning Rodriguez is again filing a measure to repeat the effort in 2022.
As of this posting, no House companion resolution has been filed for the upcoming Legislative Session, which begins in January.