Dopamine antagonists ameliorate the dyskinesias, aggression, and inattention of persons with mental retardation referred to psychiatric clinics

James Robert Brašic, Jacqueline Y. Barnett, Richard Zelhof, Hugh Tarpley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Although dopamine antagonists are often administered to people with mental retardation, the neuropsychiatric effects are controversial. Objective: To characterize the effect of dopamine antagonists on movements and behaviors of persons with mental retardation. Method: Dyskinesias and behavioral problems are assessed in nine people with mental retardation referred to psychiatric clinics, including five men treated with dopamine antagonists in a dosage range equivalent to 67 to 220 mg chlorpromazine, and two men and two women who receive no medication during the preceding three months. Results: The nonmedicated subjects have higher levels of akathisia, stereotypies, tics, and other dyskinesias and lower global adaptive functioning. Utilizing the Mann-Whitney Test, nonmedicated subjects have more tics (P <.006), attention deficit disorder (P <.018), and overt aggression (P <.015); however, the Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons renders all results nonsignificant. Conclusions: Dopamine antagonists ameliorate the dyskinesias, aggression, and inattention of some persons with mental retardation and behavioral problems. However, beneficial effects of dopamine antagonists must be weighed against adverse effects including withdrawal and tardive dyskinesias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalGerman Journal of Psychiatry
Volume4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Attention
  • Dyskinesias
  • Mental retardation
  • Stereotypies
  • Tics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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