The term ‘tardive dyskinesia’ refers to a collection of symptoms that can mimic many other common medical disorders. Diagnosis of the condition can be difficult, as there is no single test available to identify tardive dyskinesia. The diagnostic process requires a comprehensive review of the patient’s medical history, a physical exam, and a neuro-psychological evaluation. This process is further complicated by the fact that symptoms may come and go intermittently, or may be more apparent at some times than at others.
How is Tardive Dyskinesia Diagnosed?
After a physical examination and neuropsychiatric evaluation are conducted, a number of other tests may be ordered to rule out pathogens, environmental toxins or genetic factors. These tests may include:
- Blood cell count or screening for serum electrolytes and copper and ceruloplasmin
- Thyroid and/or connective tissue tests
- MRI or CAT scans of the head to rule out the presence of a tumor
After these are performed, the patient’s doctor will then try to diagnose Risperdal tardive dyskinesia by consulting the patient, or by providing distractions that may elicit characteristic symptoms. While this is happening, the doctor will observe which parts of the patient’s body are showing signs of tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, the results will be inconclusive, and may require additional testing to confirm the diagnosis.
Tardive Dyskinesia Tests
Although there are no specific criteria available to diagnose Risperdal tardive dyskinesia, the following tests may be performed to help identify the condition:
- Blood tests to examine electrolytes and blood chemistry.
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan – X-ray used to take pictures of structures inside the head.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan – Test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the brain.