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October 1986

Akathisia Variants and Tardive Dyskinesia-Reply

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Clinical Neuropharmacology Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories Terlings Park—Eastwick Road Harlow, Essex CM20 2QR United Kingdom

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(10):1015. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800100109018

In Reply.—  Akathisia, a stepchild of movement disorders and an orphan of psychiatry, is beginning to receive the serious attention and clarification it deserves. However, further debate will be necessary to generate a consensus among psychiatrists, neurologists, and pharmacologists as to the meaning and definition of the term akathisia. Barnes and Braude1 have introduced some disciplined thinking and provocative proposals, which are long overdue, for the concept of akathisia. The major point of my editorial comment2 on the Barnes and Braude article1 was to emphasize the importance of investigating the natural history whereby acute neuroleptic side effects, such as akathisia, develop into the chronic side effect, tardive dyskinesia, and to do so paying attention to the natural history of the underlying schizophrenic illness.The letter by Dr Munetz addresses another important point: are akathisia and tardive dyskinesia voluntary or involuntary? Munetz suggests that akathisia movements are voluntary and that

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