Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
[Online ahead of print]

The Mechanism of Drug-induced Akathsia

  • PMID: 21406165

The Mechanism of Drug-induced Akathsia

Stephen M Stahl et al. CNS Spectr.


Akathisia is a movement disorder characterized by an inner sense of unease, unrest, and dysphoria. It can result in an inability to stand, sit, or lie still, and an intense urge to move around. It is a common side effect of drugs, such as antipsychotics and serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but it also occurs spontaneously in patients with Parkinson's disease. Several lines of evidence suggest that akathisia can be attributed to low activity of dopaminergic projections from the midbrain to the ventral striatum. However, the exact pathophysiological mechanism of this extrapyramidal symptom remains unclear. This article describes a possible mechanism for drug-induced akathisia based on the differential functions of the core and shell portions of the nucleus accumbens. These ideas arise from contemporary concepts regarding the mechanisms of compulsion, impulsivity, and depression.

Similar articles

  • [Three Cases of Drug-Induced Akathisia Due to Antiemetics During Cancer Palliative Care]
    Y Tsuji et al. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 33 (2), 267-9. PMID 16484871. - Case Reports
    Three cases of drug-induced akathisia during palliative care in terminal cancer patients were reported. Antiemetics (metoclopramide and prochlorperazine) possessing a cen …
  • Distinguishing Akathisia and Tardive Dyskinesia: A Review of the Literature
    MR Munetz et al. J Clin Psychopharmacol 3 (6), 343-50. PMID 6139392. - Review
    Akathisia and tardive dyskinesia, both side effects of neuroleptic drugs, should be easily distinguishable. Akathisia is fundamentally a subjective disorder characterized …
  • [Akathisia]
    M Brüne et al. Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr 65 (9), 396-406. PMID 9417423. - Review
    The syndrome of akathisia typically consists of a subjective component, e.g. inner restlessness and an urge to move, and observable symptoms such as restless legs and ina …
  • Akathisia: An Overlooked, Distressing, but Treatable Condition
    WW Shen. J Nerv Ment Dis 169 (9), 599-600. PMID 7276921. - Case Reports
    Akathisia is an easily treatable but often overlooked extrapyramidal symptom induced by neuroleptic drugs. It causes the patient severe distress due to the feeling of inn …
  • Organization of Thalamic Projections to the Ventral Striatum in the Primate
    JM Giménez-Amaya et al. J Comp Neurol 354 (1), 127-49. PMID 7542290.
    Although thalamic projections to the dorsal striatum are well described in primates and other species, little is known about thalamic projections to the ventral or "limbi …
See all similar articles

Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles

LinkOut - more resources