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Epilepsy Behav. 2007 Aug;11(1):105-11. Epub 2007 Jun 29.

Relationship between semiology of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory profile.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


Subtypes of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) have emerged via classification of seizure semiology, psychological variables, or both. PNES subtypes that differ with respect to etiology may be amenable to targeted treatment strategies. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between semiology type and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) profile among patients with PNES. We did so by modifying a classification scheme proposed by Selwa et al. Our main hypothesis was that there would be significant associations of semiology-based subtypes with psychological profiles among patients with PNES. We found significant differences in mean scores on MMPI-2 clinical scales 1 (Hypochondriasis) and 3 (Hysteria) and Harris-Lingoes subscales D5 (Brooding) and Sc5 (Lack of Ego Mastery, Defective Inhibition) across PNES subtypes (catatonic, minor motor, major motor). The results of the present study enhance understanding of the nosology of PNES by identifying psychopathological correlates of semiology-based subtypes of PNES. Our study also may inform the methodology of future investigations of psychopathology among patients with PNES by providing support for content-based interpretation of the MMPI.

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