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WHEREAS, many individuals living with serious mental illness or gastrointestinal disorders require treatment with medications that work as dopamine receptor blocking agents (DRBAs); and
WHEREAS, while ongoing treatment with these medications can be very helpful, and even lifesaving, for many people it can also lead to Tardive Dyskinesia; and
WHEREAS, Tardive Dyskinesia is an often permanent movement disorder that is characterized by random, involuntary, and uncontrolled movements of different muscles in the body; and
WHEREAS, Tardive Dyskinesia can develop months, years, or decades after a person begins taking DRBAs, sometimes even developing after they have discontinued use of the medication; and
WHEREAS, not everyone who takes a DRBA develops Tardive Dyskinesia; and
WHEREAS, it is estimated that over 500,000 Americans live with Tardive Dyskinesia and according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, one in every four patients receiving long-term treatment with an antipsychotic medication will experience Tardive Dyskinesia; and
WHEREAS, years of research has resulted in recent scientific breakthroughs with two new treatments for Tardive Dyskinesia approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration; and
WHEREAS, Tardive Dyskinesia is often unrecognized and patients suffering from the illness are commonly misdiagnosed, and
WHEREAS, regular screening for Tardive Dyskinesia in patients taking DRBAs is recommended by the American Psychiatric Association; and
WHEREAS, Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week encourages each individual in the Commonwealth to become better informed and aware of the condition;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2-9, 2021, as TARDIVE DYSKINESIA AWARENESS WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.