Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

How important is alexithymia in the treatment of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES)?

Spoiler alert: Important in patients who have PNES and high alexithymia What is alexithymia? Basically, it is, not having words for emotions (a=not having, lexi=word, thymia=emotion) or in other words, having a hard time identifying and describing feelings. In psychology it is associated with two concepts: emotional knowledge (EK) and emotional regulation (ER). EK has to do with: 1) Being able to identify...

Breaking news: Results of a major Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Study for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (dissociative seizures) just published

Recently, Goldstein et al published their results from a randomized CBT treatment versus “treatment as usual” (TAU) study in which treatment outcome in patients who had a history of dissociative seizures was compared (Goldstein et al., 2020). The study is the largest and most well-designed study to date. It included an initial 3-month observation period — during which patients were asked to keep a careful log...

The Sixth annual Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group conference on psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) will be held in Manhattan, NY

  On October 19, 2019, we will hold our now historic annual conference on psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). This will be the sixth year running that we offer this educational program on psychogenic non-epileptic seizures for patients, loved ones, and health professionals. As always, the event is free of charge.  As always, registrations are streaming in from across the US and some have even come in...

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...

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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