Extrapyramidal Symptoms Medications

Extrapyramidal symptoms can occur due to taking medications that block dopamine receptors, or they can occur due to damage to specific areas of the brain. In this article, we will look at these symptoms in more detail. Extrapyramidal symptoms are all motor problems, which often occur as a result of taking antipsychotics. Basically, it is a disease of motor functions caused by the destruction of the extrapyramidal system. This system consists mainly of the brain’s basal ganglia and gray matter and their pathways. The extrapyramidal motor system, or extrapyramidal system for short, is responsible for the control and regulation of conscious movements and musculature. In addition, automatic, instinctive and learned movements are also processed here. Therefore, whenever there is a disturbance in this system, you will experience problems with movement, stretching and posture. The clearest example of the effects that extrapyramidal symptoms can cause is Parkinson’s disease. In fact all symptoms that characterize extrapyramidal problems are also symptoms of Parkinson’s disease..

What are the causes of extrapyramidal symptoms?

Extrapyramidal symptoms usually occur as a side effect of taking antipsychotics. However, they can also occur as a result of damage to specific areas of the brain. The main cause is poor regulation of dopamine. Dopamine is the most important neurotransmitter for our motor skills. Antipsychotics or neuroleptics block the D2 dopamine receptors in the brain. This prevents excessive dopamine uptake in patients with psychosis, which would otherwise lead to stimulus overload. However, this blockage can also cause changes in patients’ motor function, and these disorders are called extrapyramidal symptoms. Many common antipsychotics today cause extrapyramidal symptoms. The drugs that are particularly known for these side effects are haloperidol and chlorpromazine. Therefore, in recent years, pharmaceutical companies have developed alternative medications to prevent this common side effect.

The most common extrapyramidal symptoms

Below you will find the most common extrapyramidal symptoms:

  • Hypokinesia: Slowed movements and reduction in the ability to move consciously. Every movement requires a great effort, you move slower and more clumsily.
  • Hypertonia: increased muscle tension. This is especially strong in the extremities. extremities. Some people also suffer from acute dystonia, which is manifested by cramping and malpositioning of the muscles in the face, neck, and tongue.
  • Akathisia: This is a notorious restlessness and agitation, also called sitting restlessness. Affected individuals simply cannot sit still.

In addition, there are many other motor symptoms called extrapyramidal symptoms. For example, these include:

  • Hyperkinesia: Involuntary movements such as tics, spasms and twitching.
  • Involuntary, rhythmic shaking or trembling. This may occur when lying down or when the affected person remains in a certain posture for a long time.
  • Parkinson’smovements. This involves bending the head and neck forward and also bending the elbows, knees and wrists.
  • Amimia: describes the absence of facial expressions because they are not possible. This is caused by stiffened facial muscles.
  • Abnormal gait: usually this gait is characterized by short steps and the absence of arm movements when walking. Therefore, people who suffer from this symptom have problems maintaining their balance.
  • Lack of Postural reflexes and inability to perform rapid, automatic movements..
  • In addition, sufferers may have problems writing and suffer from speech disorders.

Extrapyramidal symptoms: Treatment

If quick treatment of symptoms is needed, your doctor will probably give you anticholinergics and dopaminergics prescribe. Generally, however, treatment of extrapyramidal symptoms is done by discontinuing the medications that were causative for the onset of symptoms. If you are taking typical antipsychotics, then your doctor will usually prescribe another medication that causes fewer side effects. However, it is even better to prevent the occurrence of extrapyramidal symptoms in general when taking antipsychotics. This can be achieved by closely monitoring the dosage. Then, as soon as the first symptoms appear, you should inform your doctor so that further symptoms can be prevented by adjusting the dosage or changing the medication. For the treatment of facial tensions and changes in motor functions, physiotherapy can be very helpful. physiotherapy can be very helpful. Physiotherapy is also especially important when extrapyramidal symptoms occur due to brain damage or damage to the extrapyramidal pathways, because it contributes significantly to the rehabilitation of patients, thereby also improving their quality of life. This might also interest you… Extrapyramidal Symptoms Medications.

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