Article

Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures: A current overview

Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
Epilepsia (Impact Factor: 4.58). 08/2012; 53(10):1679-89. DOI: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03606.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) resemble epilepsy, but no pathophysiological explanation has been established. Although there have been recent advances in PNES research and various hypotheses as to the psychopathology, no theory has achieved general acceptance. In this overview of selected literature on PNES, we highlight the often contradictory findings that underline the challenges that confront both practitioner and researcher. We first provide a synopsis of the history, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes, as well as patient characteristics of PNES and the relevance of communication in the clinical context. In the subsequent sections we discuss recent research that may advance the understanding and diagnosis of this disorder. These themes include the use of qualitative methods as a viable research option, the application of nonlinear methods to analyze heterogeneous observations during diagnosis, recent advances in neuroimaging of PNES, and the development of international databases.

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