Tardive Dyskinesia and Marijuana Information: Treat Tardive's With Cannabis

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is an involuntary neurological movement disorder caused by the use of dopamine receptor blocking drugs that are prescribed to treat certain psychiatric or gastrointestinal conditions. Long-term use of these drugs may produce biochemical abnormalities in the area of the brain known as the striatum.

Tardive dyskinesia typically affects someone’s face, often causing uncontrolled grimaces and movement in the eyes, lips, tongue and jaw. Arms, fingers, toes, legs, hips and torso are also affected and may twitch and move rapidly and uncontrollably. These random body movements can be uncomfortable and painful as well as embarrassing and difficult to control, making it a social handicap. Severe cases of this disorder can be debilitating and make it difficult to perform simple tasks like talking, walking and eating.

The symptoms of tardive dyskinesia often resemble Tourette’s syndrome or Parkinson’s disease. People with Tardive Dyskinesia have difficulty controlling their bodies and are prone to random, repetitive movements that can be mild or physically disabling. Physical symptoms include;

  • Grimacing
  • Lip smacking
  • Rapid eye blinking
  • Tongue protrusion
  • Lip puckering or pursing
  • Random movements of the fingers and/or toes
  • Rapid movements of the trunk, legs and arms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Grunting and gasping

The cause of tardive dyskinesia is unknown but is linked to the use of neuroleptics that affect the way the brain processes a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine controls the reward and pleasure centers of the brain and helps regulate movement and emotional response. Imbalances of this chemical are linked to diseases like Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Clinical Information Related to Tardive Dyskinesia and Medical Marijuana

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