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Controversies in Neurology
December 2001

Provocative Techniques Should Be Used for the Diagnosis of Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital, Tampa.

 

JOHN N.WHITAKERMD

Arch Neurol. 2001;58(12):2063-2065. doi:10.1001/archneur.58.12.2063

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.—Aldous Huxley

You never find yourself until you face the truth.—Pearl Bailey

PSYCHOGENIC symptoms are ubiquitous in medicine, both in and outside of neurology.13 Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are commonly seen at epilepsy centers, where they represent at least 20% of patients referred for refractory "seizures."4,5 Their estimated prevalence in the general population is 2 to 33 per 100 000, making this problem nearly as common as multiple sclerosis or trigeminal neuralgia.6

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