Treatment of tardive dyskinesia with vitamin E

M. F. Egan, T. M. Hyde, G. W. Albers, A. Elkashef, R. C. Alexander, A. Reeve, A. Blum, R. E. Saenz, R. J. Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Objective: Vitamin E (α-tocopherol), a free-radical scavenger, has been reported to improve symptoms of tardive dyskinesia. The authors attempted to replicate this finding under more controlled conditions in a larger study group. Method: Fifteen inpatients and six outpatients with tardive dyskinesia received up to 1600 IU/day of vitamin E for 6 weeks in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) examinations of these patients were videotaped and rated independently by two trained raters. Levels of neuroleptic medication and vitamin E were measured during both treatment periods. Eighteen patients who demonstrated high blood levels of vitamin E were included in the data analysis. Results: Vitamin E levels were significantly higher while the patients were receiving vitamin E than while they were receiving placebo. For all 18 patients, there were no significant differences between AIMS scores after receiving vitamin E and AIMS scores after receiving placebo. In agreement with previous studies, however, the nine patients who had had tardive dyskinesia for 5 years or less had significantly lower AIMS scores after receiving vitamin E than after receiving placebo. There were no changes in neuroleptic levels during vitamin E treatment. Conclusions: Vitamin E had a minor beneficial effect on tardive dyskinesia ratings in a selected group of patients who had had tardive dyskinesia for 5 years or less. This effect was not due to an increase in blood levels of neuroleptic medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-777
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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