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Commentary in Neurology
June 2010

Psychogenic DisordersThe Need to Speak Plainly

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2010 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2010

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(6):753-755. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.91

Visits by patients with psychogenic disorders make up a significant percentage of neurology specialty appointments,1 but these patients are often treated differently from other patients. About 2% to 3% of new visits to movement disorder specialists are for psychogenic movement disorders,2,3 most of which are conversion disorders.4 Up to 30% of patients referred to epilepsy monitoring units have diagnoses of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Conversion symptoms, a subset of somatoform disorders, have been documented in the medical literature for millennia5,6 and are thought to have similar etiologies and similar presentations across cultures but with cultural variations.7