Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
CNS Spectr. 2011 Jan 15. pii: Stahl. [Epub ahead of print]

The Mechanism of Drug-induced Akathsia.

Author information

University of California - San Diego in La Jolla and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.


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.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Cambridge University Press
    Loading ...
    Support Center