AIMS Program Guide


A program guide for the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale video.

Program Guide For AIMS Instructional Video

Conducting a good Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) examination and scoring the results can be done in 10 or 15 minutes by an experienced clinician, allowing the tool to be used easily and repeatedly in the search for tardive dyskinesia. Those unfamiliar or less experienced with the AIMS procedures may find the initial learning somewhat complicated and frustrating, leading to potential errors in scoring.   This instructional video has been created to teach the proper techniques to those new to the AIMS examination and as a constantly available resource on the Web for those who have done it before but want to refresh their skills.   Dr. Jay Pomerantz demonstrates the 12 steps of the AIMS examination and explains how to score the results. The video was photographed in his office to show how easily it can be done in the confines of a busy clinician's practice setting.   Instead of using patients who have TD, we have turned to a "Standardized Patient", an actor who has received special training in simulating medical problems accurately and is widely experienced in clinical teaching programs. "Patient Jerry" also offers the advantage of being able to demonstrate the four different levels of symptom severity for each muscle group whereas an actual patient could only show the single level of the disorder that was affecting them at the time.  

Download AIMS Form (PDF)

Download AIMS Instructions (PDF)


INTRODUCTION (5 minutes, 30 seconds)

Dr. Pomerantz provides:

  • Background of AIMS tool and differentiation from those that focus on Parkinsonism, Dystonia, and Akathesia

  • Characteristics of Dyskinesias for which AIMS is most useful

  • Specific aspects of Tardive Dyskinesia

  • The value of the AIMS in picking up TD and maintaining a surveillance program for patients


  • Dr. Pomerantz and Patient Jerry demonstrate each of the 12 steps of the AIMS exam. Dr. Pomerantz explains what the clinician is doing at each step and why, and Patient Jerry exhibits representative symptoms that should be looked for during the exam.

SCORING PROCEDURE (9 minutes, 30 seconds)

  • Dr. Pomerantz and Patient Jerry then show how the different levels of severity should be scored in each of the seven muscle groups assessed by the AIMS. Of particular value is the dramatic demonstration of the subtle differences between the Minimal, Mild, Moderate, and Severe symptom levels.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION (3 minutes, 30 seconds)

Dr. Pomerantz reviews:

  • Management options if the AIMS evaluation suggests TD

  • Making sure that other possibilities in the differential diagnosis have been considered

  • Summary of the benefits of the AIMS evaluation for patient and clinician.

View the AIMS instructional video, here.

This article was originally posted on April 12, 2013 and has since been updated.

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