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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2017 May;88(5):425-429. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2017-315639. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

Are psychogenic non-epileptic seizures just another symptom of conversion disorder?

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Austin Health, University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia richard.kanaan@unimelb.edu.au.
2
Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.
3
Department of Neurology, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand.
4
Department of Neurology, Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
5
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
6
School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.
7
Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) are classified with other functional neurological symptoms as 'Conversion Disorder', but there are reasons to wonder whether this symptomatology constitutes a distinct entity.

METHODS:

We reviewed the literature comparing PNES with other functional neurological symptoms.

RESULTS:

We find eight studies that directly examined this question. Though all but one found significant differences-notably in presenting age, trauma history, and dissociation-they were divided on whether these differences represented an important distinction.

CONCLUSION:

We argue that the aetiological and mechanistic distinctions they support, particularly when bolstered by additional data, give reason to sustain a separation between these conditions.

KEYWORDS:

aetiology; functional neurological disorder; mechanism; nosology; psychogenic movement disorder

PMID:
28235779
DOI:
10.1136/jnnp-2017-315639
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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