Send to

Choose Destination
Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2013 Jun;19(3 Epilepsy):715-29. doi: 10.1212/

Nonepileptic behavioral disorders: diagnosis and treatment.

Author information

University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital, 2 Tampa General Circle, Floor 6, Tampa, Florida 33606, USA.



This article will review the important steps in making an accurate diagnosis of psychogenic nonepileptic events or episodes (PNEE), and recent developments in diagnosis and treatment.


Several clues can be obtained from the history to help the clinician suspect the diagnosis of PNEE. While none of these clues are diagnostic on their own, each is valuable, and there are often multiple clues in a given patient. Clinical clues have limitations, and once PNEE is suspected, video-EEG monitoring remains the gold standard and the only way to make a definite diagnosis of PNEE. Like most tests, video EEG has its limitations, but in most cases the diagnosis can be made and is not difficult. Regarding treatment, growing evidence exists that psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavior therapy, is effective, and a recent finding is that pharmacotherapy may have a role.


The diagnosis of PNEE can be made reliably, but the management of PNEE remains problematic, in large part because of the insufficient involvement of mental health professionals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center