ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 234

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 30, 2023

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Designates first full week of May of each year as “Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week” in NJ.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution designating “Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week.”

 

Whereas, Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is a persistent, irreversible, and potentially disabling neurological condition characterized by uncontrollable repetitive movements of the face, torso, or other body parts; and

Whereas, TD is an involuntary movement disorder caused by medications that help control dopamine, such as antipsychotics prescribed to treat people living with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression; and

Whereas, Clinical research by the United States Food and Drug Administration has led to the availability of two treatments for adults with TD; and

Whereas, Many people with serious mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder, or gastrointestinal disorders, including gastroparesis, nausea, and vomiting, may be treated with medications that work as dopamine receptor blocking agents (DRBAs); and

Whereas, While prolonged treatment with these medications are often necessary to treat various illnesses that a person is experiencing, ongoing use of DRBAs can lead to the onset of TD; and

Whereas, It is important that people taking DRBAs are monitored for TD through regular screenings as recommended by the American Psychiatric Association; and

Whereas, It is estimated that TD affects approximately 600,000 people in the U.S. and approximately 70 percent of people with TD have not been diagnosed; and

Whereas, TD is treatable if a patient receives timely screening and diagnosis; and

Whereas, However, TD remains widely unknown and misunderstood due to a lack of public awareness and limited resources available to patients, providers, and caregivers; and

Whereas, It is estimated that about 1.1 million adults in New Jersey, or 16.14 percent of adults in the State, are living with a mental illness and as a result are likely to receive DRBAs as a form of treatment which can lead to the onset of TD; and

Whereas, Raising awareness about the symptoms and impact of TD will promote the importance of early screening, diagnosis and treatment; and

Whereas, People living with TD face physical, social and emotional barriers due to the stigma associated with uncontrollable movements which can further lead to worsened mental health symptoms and cause embarrassment or withdrawal from society; and

Whereas, To help ensure that people living with TD receive the care they need increased awareness is necessary at the State and federal level; and

Whereas, A Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week would provide New Jerseyans with an annual reminder to check themselves for symptoms of the disorder and seek early medical intervention through annual screenings with their medical provider; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  The first full week of May of each year is designated as “Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week” in NJ to encourage New Jerseyans to take preventative steps to identify the symptoms and risk factors of Tardive Dyskinesia.

 

     2.  The Governor is respectfully requested to annually issue a proclamation recognizing the first full week of May as “Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week” in New Jersey.

 

     3.  This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution designates the first full week of May of each year as “Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week” in NJ. Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) is a persistent, irreversible, and potentially disabling neurological condition characterized by uncontrollable repetitive movements of the face, torso, or other body parts. This involuntary movement disorder is caused by medications that help control dopamine, such as antipsychotics prescribed to treat people living with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. People with mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder, or gastrointestinal disorders, including gastroparesis, nausea, and vomiting, may be treated with medications that work as dopamine receptor blocking agents (DRBAs). It is estimated that about 1.1 million adults in New Jersey, or 16.14 percent of adults in the State, are living with a mental illness and as a result are likely to receive DRBAs as a form of treatment, which can lead to the onset of TD.

     It is vital that people taking DRBAs are monitored for TD through regular screenings as recommended by the American Psychiatric Association because long-term use of DRBAs can lead to the onset of TD. People living with TD face physical, social and emotional barriers due to the stigma associated with uncontrollable movements, which can further lead to worsened mental health symptoms and cause embarrassment or withdrawal from society. It is estimated that TD affects approximately 600,000 people in the U.S. and approximately 70 percent of people with TD have not been diagnosed. Although TD is treatable, many people with the disorder are unaware of the treatment options. Raising awareness about the symptoms and impact of TD will promote the importance of early screening, diagnosis and treatment.