Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders)
The Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) is a rating scale that was designed in the 1970s to measure involuntary movements known as tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD is a disorder that sometimes develops as a side effect of long-term treatment with neuroleptic (antipsychotic) medications.
Tardive dyskinesia is a syndrome characterized by abnormal involuntary movements of the patient's face, mouth, trunk, or limbs, which affects 20%0% of patients who have been treated for months or years with neuroleptic medications. Patients who are older, are heavy smokers, or have diabetes mellitus are at higher risk of developing TD. The movements of the patient's limbs and trunk are sometimes called choreathetoid, which means a dance-like movement that repeats itself and has no rhythm. The AIMS test is used not only to detect tardive dyskinesia but also to follow the severity of a patient's TD over time. It is a valuable tool for clinicians who are monitoring the effects of long-term treatment with neuroleptic medications and also for researchers studying the effects of these drugs. The AIMS test is given every three to six months to monitor the patient for the development of TD. For most patients, TD develops three months after the initiation...
(The entire section is 1017 words.)
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