Calcium channel blockers and vitamin E for tardive dyskinesia in adults with mental retardation

Robert W. Ricketts, Nirbhay N. Singh, Cynthia R. Ellis, Sharee Chambers, Yadhu N. Singh, Sharon J. Carmanico, Victor Vadney, John C. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is one of the major problems associated with the long-term use of neuroleptic medication in individuals with mental retardation. Although no satisfactory treatment is currently available for TD, there has been a suggestion in the research literature that, in theory, calcium channel blockers and vitamin E may be effective in reducing the symptoms of TD. We assessed the effects of verapamil, a calcium channel blocker, and vitamin E on TD in seven adults with mental retardation in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Following an open baseline, each subject received placebo, verapamil (80 mg/qid), and vitamin E (400 IU/tid) in random order, with each phase lasting 8 weeks. The subjects were rated on the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) and the Dyskinesia Identification System: Condensed User Scale (DISCUS) by trained raters. The maintenance medication for all subjects was kept constant during the course of the study. Results showed that although some subjects had a reduction in their TD ratings neither verapamil nor vitamin E produced clinically or statistically significant changes when compared to placebo and baseline conditions. However, the changes associated with vitamin E were promising enough to warrant further investigation of this agent in the treatment of TD in individuals with mental retardation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-174
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • calcium channel blockers
  • mental retardation
  • tardive dyskinesia
  • verapamil
  • vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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