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Am Fam Physician. 2005 Sep 1;72(5):849-56.

Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento, California 95817-2307, USA. taoufik.alsaadi@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures are episodes of movement, sensation, or behaviors that are similar to epileptic seizures but do not have a neurologic origin; rather, they are somatic manifestations of psychologic distress. Patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures frequently are misdiagnosed and treated for epilepsy. Video-electroencephalography monitoring is preferred for diagnosis. From 5 to 10 percent of outpatient epilepsy patients and 20 to 40 percent of inpatient epilepsy patients have psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. These patients inevitably have comorbid psychiatric illnesses, most commonly depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, other dissociative and somatoform disorders, and personality pathology, especially borderline personality type. Many patients have a history of sexual or physical abuse. Between 75 and 85 percent of patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures are women. Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures typically begin in young adulthood. Treatment involves discontinuation of antiepileptic drugs in patients without concurrent epilepsy and referral for appropriate psychiatric care. More studies are needed to determine the best treatment modalities.

PMID:
16156345
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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