Akathisia

Akathisia is a rare syndrome of movement disorder, featuring restlessness that exhibits itself in many ways. The person affected with akathisia syndrome cannot sit still even for few minutes. The word Akathisia is derived from Greek word “kathizen” meaning to sit and the prefix “a” stands for negation or absence. This syndrome can be due to side effect of taking medications or it can be the sign of Parkinson’s disease or due to some neurological problems. The individual affected with Akathisia will have neglect and withdrawal from any physical addiction. He will be very aggressive and alert in behavior due to the increased levels of norephinephrine in his system.

Causes :

Akathisia is commonly present as the side effect of taking psychotic drugs like antipsychotics like droperidol, trifluoperazine, haloperidol, and aripiprazole. The same effect is also caused by medicines like chloropromazine and zuclopenthixol but in lesser degree.

Neurological Causes :

Akathisia is the side effect of dopaminergic neurotransmission and the person affected with this disorder will have anxiety attacks often becoming restless and will have psychomotor problems. He will have a compelling desire to move or stand from the original place and give constant movement for his legs. Very often neuroleptic drugs are the cause for getting akathisia symptoms.

It can also be caused due to the intake of SSRI drugs like paroxetine and Prozac. Antidepressant medications like Effexor and trazodone can also produce the side effect making the person restless. Antihistamines like diphenhydramine and opoid drugs and barbiturates withdrawal drugs will have the same side effects. Certain amphetamines and stimulants like coffee or tea, benzodiazepine and alcohol withdrawal drugs and serotonin syndrome can cause Akathisia.

Diagnoses :

The doctor will examine the symptoms of the patient and can find Akathisia by nerve neuropathy testing. He may administer blood culture test for further investigation.

Symptoms :

The affected person will become restless, and exhibit involuntary movements of his trunk. He will show hyperactivity, dystonia and muscle contraction making repeated twists and poor posture of his body. He will show changed behavior due to thought disorder like depression and suicidal tendency.

Treatment :

The causative factor has to be determined for treating Akathisia symptoms. If the disease is caused by medications like psychotic and antidepressant drugs then your doctor will give alternate medications for your illness. Treatment of the symptoms includes giving drugs like propranolol benzodiazepine or clonazepam and Benztropine and trihexyphenidyl. Giving vitamin B complex is effective for treating neuroleptic patients having akathisia.

Giving low doses of medicine will help in managing the symptoms of Akathisia. If the person does not show any response to alternate medicines then anticholinergic drugs like trihexyphenidyl and antiadrenergic medications are given.

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