Extensive clinical observations have left little doubt that the use of chlorpromazine and reserpine in psychiatry is most effective in the treatment of disorders which manifest themselves through a behavioral common path of hypermotility, hypernormal initiative, and increased affective tension. Although they differ greatly in chemical properties and neurophysiological action, both drugs inhibit psychomotor activity, frequently to the degree of extrapyramidal symptoms which share a variety of clinical features with the Parkinsonian syndrome. The pronounced effect of these drugs on mental syndromes which have their functional origin in subcortical regions induced Delay and Deniker1 to propose the name "neuroleptics," a term which found the approval of the participants at the International Symposium on Chlorpromazine and Neuroleptic Drugs, held in Paris in October, 1955.
One is tempted to see more than a historical coincidence in the fact that these neuroleptic drugs came our way at a time of fundamental changes
FREYHAN FA. Psychomotility and Parkinsonism in Treatment with Neuroleptic Drugs. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;78(5):465-472. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330410029003