Psychogenic nonepileptic attacks (PNEA), also known as psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, dissociative seizures, or pseudoseizures (a term now widely considered pejorative), can be terrifying and frustrating for patients and their families. PNEA are transient episodes of involuntary movements or altered consciousness caused by psychological mechanisms, often involving intense stress. They are the most common form of functional neurological disorder, the preferred term for what was previously known as conversion disorder. Unlike factitious disorder or malingering, PNEA are not consciously produced or controlled by the patient, ie, they are not “faked.” Individuals with PNEA may thrash and jerk their limbs, fall to the floor, roll back and forth, or simply close their eyes and become unresponsive as if asleep. PNEA can appear very much like epileptic seizures, in which abnormal electrical discharges in the brain cause similar episodes of involuntary movements and altered consciousness.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Tolchin B, Martino S, Hirsch LJ. Treatment of Patients With Psychogenic Nonepileptic Attacks. JAMA. 2019;321(20):1967–1968. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.3520
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: