Charlie Mentzel thesis defence

On the 4rth of October 2017, Charlie Mentzel has defended here thesis called 'The course recognition and treatment of movement disorders in severe mental illness', with supervisors prof dr. P.N. van Harten, prof. dr. M.A.J. de Koning-Tijssen and Dr. P.R. Bakker.

This thesis describes an 18 year long study on movement disorders in patients with severe mental illness (SMI) on the island of Curacao. SMI patients often use many types of medication and up to 80% have movement disorders such as shaking (tremor), slowness (bradykinesia) or strange movements of the face (orofacial dyskinesia). This can cause embarrassment in patients and lead to refusal of medication. Our results show that changing from a first to a second generation antipsychotic does not reduce movement disorders in this group of patients, and that tremors respond well to treatment. The current medication guidelines need to be changed to account for these results, as SMI patients differ from the less chronically ill patients research is usually conducted on. Therefore we propose that the development of a separate guideline for patients with SMI would improve the quality of care for these patients.