Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

I have psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) but was never traumatized: Is this you?

In July 2013, we published an article in the Journal Epilepsy and Behavior looking at: Psychological trauma in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures: Trauma characteristics and those who develop PTSD.  The full article can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525505013001819). We found that 45 out of 61 (73.8%) patients reported experiencing at least one traumatic event in...

Are all patients diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNESs) the same? Patients with PNES and PTSD are looking different.

What unites patients with PNES into a single category? The fact that they have abnormal behaviors and changes in consciousness that resemble an epileptic seizure, but that are in fact non-epileptic as per EEG? However, right about there is where the similarity ends. To bunch all of PNES patients into one bag and hope to treat them without considering intra-group and individual differences makes about as much...

Psychiatry and Psychology are dropping the ball when it comes to psychogenic non epileptic seizures

Dr. Selim Benbadis published an excellent editorial article in the Neuropsychiatry Journal this year in which he called out both the American Psychological and American Psychiatric Association for the absence of information about Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (conversion disorders) they have on their sites. He pointed out that both associations have a plethora of mental health topics and diagnoses for which...

Could Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy be useful in treating psychogenic non-epileptic seizures?

Up to 90% of patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) report histories of significant trauma (often childhood sexual and physical abuse).  If we compare with control groups and the general US population, we find that in fact, patients with psychogenic non epileptic seizures have suffered more abuse than these other groups.   As for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), studies have reported...

Psychogenic non epileptic seizures: why is your memory so bad if this is all psychological?

An almost universal cognitive complaint in persons with PNES is that their memory is bad and it is not unusual after going through neuropsychological testing of memory (verbal, visual, etc.), that these complaints are officially confirmed.  Although we are not sure, these memory problems are probably due to more than one reason.    The most obvious answer is that if you are clinically depressed or anxious (which...

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