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April 2013

Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures: The Name Matters—Reply

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Graduate Entry Medical School, University Hospital Limerick (Dr O’Hanlon), Department of Geriatric Medicine, Kerry General Hospital, Tralee (Dr Liston), and Department of Neurology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin (Dr Delanty), Ireland.

JAMA Neurol. 2013;70(4):528-529. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.1898

In reply

We thank Dr Sethi for his comments. There is longstanding controversy regarding the most appropriate term—many others have been suggested in addition to nonepileptic events and nonepileptic seizures. We agree with LaFrance1 that the term seizure does not inherently infer epilepsy. In practical terms, we also find that patients are very familiar with the word seizure, whereas the term event is nondescript. By combining nonepileptic with seizure, an immediate distinction is made. Patients and family can more easily appreciate the logic behind this, and we feel medical terms should be designed for end users rather than being academically driven.

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