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Neurology. 1982 Jan;32(1):18-23.

Pseudoseizures: diagnostic evaluation.


A prospective study of pseudoseizures using prolonged video-electroencephalographic (EEG) recording was carried out in 60 patients. Of 33 patients with episodes of uncertain mechanism, a diagnosis based on recorded episodes was made in 18 (55%). Twelve (36%) had pseudoseizures; 6 (18%) had epileptic seizures. Ten additional patients had epileptiform EEGs compatible with epilepsy. Of 27 patients with presumably uncontrolled epileptic seizures, 4 (15%) had recorded pseudoseizures. Prediction of the nature of the episode by the admitting neurologist was accurate in 67% of cases. Determination from observations of unit personnel and neurologists was correct in less than 80% of episodes. These data suggest that pseudoseizures occur frequently in patients being evaluated for epilepsy or suspected epilepsy. The clinical differentiation between epileptic seizures and pseudoseizures is often inaccurate. This differentiation is facilitated by prolonged video-EEG recording.

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