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Letters to the Editor
September 2002

In reply

Arch Neurol. 2002;59(9):1491. doi:

McGonigal and colleagues refer to their article on a randomized controlled trial of simple suggestion techniques. Apparently they told all of their patients that a possible psychological cause for the disorder was being considered and that recording a typical attack was necessary to help reach a diagnosis. They believe that this approach avoided the ethical problem of nondisclosure, and the study design was approved by their ethics committee.

In their study, they had a yield in the suggestion group of 10 (66.7%) of 15 patients with electroclinically proven nonepileptic seizures that were confidently identified as habitual by eyewitnesses. Only 5 (33.3%) of 15 patients in the no-suggestion group had habitual attacks.