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Epilepsy Behav. 2003 Aug;4(4):424-9.

Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures: acute change in event frequency after presentation of the diagnosis.

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Epilepsy Treatment Center, Department of Neurology, University of California-Davis Medical Center, 4860 Y Street, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Seizure frequency during inpatient video EEG monitoring was examined before and after the diagnosis of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) was presented to patients (N=22). A control group of 10 patients with epileptic seizures (ES) were also followed from pre- to postdiagnosis. The number of PNES or ES within the 24-hour period prior to diagnosis was compared with the number of events that occurred within the 24-hour period after presentation of the diagnosis. Findings indicate that patients with PNES had a significant decrease in the frequency of events after diagnosis, while those with ES showed no change in event frequency after diagnosis. Eighteen of twenty-two patients with PNES had no further events during an acute follow-up period. Results suggest that providing patients with a diagnosis of PNES appears to reduce the acute frequency of PNES and may be an important first step in the long-term remediation of PNES. Long-term follow-up is needed to determine if such feedback alters the course of the disorder.

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