Akathisia can not be cured in schizophrenic patients whose symptoms are treated with antipsychotic drugs. It is important to know that the akathisia score is not a valid end point for switching drugs. Akathisia is a symptom of dopamine blockade.
Acute akathisia is a symptom of psychomotor stimulant withdrawal. The underlying causes and specific pharmacologic triggers are usually unknown. In contrast, chronic or recurrent akathisia is more commonly associated with the underlying condition, and may be associated with drug misuse. Thus, treatment of acute akathisia often resolves without lasting effects on the underlying condition, while chronic akathisia may require treatment of the underlying condition.
Akathisia can occur in up to 32% of hospitalized patients receiving antipsychotic treatment. Because of the serious, and sometimes fatal, consequences of akathisia, it is of utmost interest to understand the occurrence and treatment of the syndrome. One of the most important factors to determine with regard to risk is age, but many other factors are involved.
There is little agreement on which genes predispose to akathisia. There is also dispute over the biological concept. There is only limited consensus in diagnosing akathisia, and there are no standardized diagnostic criteria. Patients presenting with akathisia should be carefully examined and assessed for other precipitating factors such as medical co-morbidities.
A diagnosis of akathisia can be made by following the consensus criteria developed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition (DSM-IV) in 1999. The definition is based on the experiences of users, their close family members and health professionals. This definition will aid clinicians in identifying patients at risk for developing a substance induced psychotic episode during the course of treatment. However, research on the validity of this diagnostic criteria continues and is needed to clarify the diagnostic and therapeutic implications of akathisia in this condition.
Akathisia is a common psychiatric disorder. Antidepressants are not the exclusive treatment for this disorder. Psychotherapy for akathisia is an effective treatment modality which should be integrated into treatment plans.
Weighted blanket treatment appears to induce significant modulation of cortical excitability. Results from a recent clinical trial provides preliminary evidence that weighted blanket therapy might be useful in anxiety disorders and in particular acute exacerbations of schizophrenia, and may have future applicability in improving motor skills and in particular the functional recovery of patients with strokes and other injuries.
There were no new studies of new or improved treatments of akathisia published in the last 4 years. In a recent study, findings of the study that were published 4 years before had also been published in the medical literature, and they were not cited. A systematic search of the literature would not reveal new studies published over 2 years.
Akathisia was associated with a high risk of discontinuation of the drug but was not predictive of the development of somnolence or fatigue as side effects. This suggests that treatment-induced or medication related aetiology is likely. The prevalence of akathisia was lower than that of somnolence and fatigue, supporting the hypothesis that these side effects are not related to a specific mechanism.
The WBT is a novel treatment for alleviating the intolerable symptoms of akathisia. Findings from a recent study is the first of its kind to demonstrate its effectiveness at improving the quality of life of patients with psychiatric disorders.
Weighted blanket was safe and efficient for treatment of PONV, insomnia, and fatigue in the first hours after admission to the hospital without causing excessive complications.
[Akathisia is one of the most common psychiatric side effects of ondansetron. The average age that patients develop the disorder is 63 years, according to our results. Akathisia could be related to the dose of the drug and also to its duration. (www.Akathisia.net) (www.kathisia.net)