Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group
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Recent article: Conversion disorder and the trouble with trauma

  Kanaan and Craig recently published an article “Conversion disorders and the trouble with trauma” (see reference at the bottom of this page) in which they present the reader with a cogent overview of the current debate of whether conversion disorder should be conceptualized as “psychogenic” or instead “as a yet unexplained neurological disorder.” They argue, quite persuasively that what might seem...

New article on dissociation and depression in children with PNES compared to children with epilepsy

In June, our team (Myers, Trobliger, Bortnik, Zeng, Segal and Lancman) published: “Dissociation and other clinical phenomena in youth with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) compared to youth with epilepsy” in the peer-reviewed journal Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy. The article had some very interesting findings which I will discuss below. This paper compared 15 youth diagnosed with psychogenic...

Frozen in time: trauma and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES)

This poem was shared by someone who has lived with PNES. Her first seizure occurred with no warning while she was at work.  After an initial diagnosis of epilepsy, rounds of medicine, and realizing that medication was not stopping the seizures, she was diagnosed with PNES.  A traumatic event that occurred to her decades before was the trigger for her PNES; while she thought that she had dealt with that event and...

A book on psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) in the 19th Century

Warning: PNES used to be called hysteria in the 19th Century and since this is a historical book, that is the term you will find in it. The Nature/Nurture explanation of human behavior are like two sides of a coin and over the last few centuries, the coin keeps getting tossed every few decades. The book “Medical Muses” shines a light on one of these periods in time, precisely in the 19th Century, a time when the...

Long term vs. short term: when is one preferable to the other in the treatment of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures?

African common toad with warts Today I want to write about an experience I had a few weeks ago. I was speaking with some of my colleagues at a conference about working with patients who are diagnosed with PNES.  Several of them explained that they had been working with patients who had been having seizures (some of them very frequent and intense) for years.  When I asked what sort of treatment they were using,...

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