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J Child Neurol. 1994 Oct;9(4):404-7.

Psychogenic seizures in children: long-term analysis of 43 cases.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27157.


Forty-three patients exhibiting psychogenic seizures with onset before the age of 16 years were studied. All patients underwent intensive electroencephalography and video-electroencephalography monitoring. Thirty-two were female and 11 male. Mean age of the population at seizure onset was 12.4 years (range, 5 to 16 years). Twenty-one patients (48.8%) were taking anticonvulsants. Neurologic past history was abnormal in nine cases. Family history of epilepsy was found in 15 cases (34.9%). Median seizure frequency was one seizure every 5 days. Clinical characteristics of the seizures varied. However, unresponsiveness with generalized violent and uncoordinated movements involving the whole body (n = 19) or with generalized trembling (n = 11) were the most common features. Neuropsychological testing, carried out in 22 cases, failed to show major abnormalities in most of the cases. Significant personal and family distress was found in most of the cases. An important impact on patient's quality of life was evident when the seizures were present as compared to the seizure-free periods. There were no statistically significant predictors of clinical outcome.

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