Are psychogenic non-epileptic seizures just another symptom of conversion disorder?

R A Kanaan, Roderick Duncan, Laura Hilary Goldstein, Joseph Jankovic, Andrea E Cavanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
441 Downloads (Pure)


Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) are classified with other functional neurological symptoms as “Conversion Disorder”, but there are reasons to wonder whether this symptomatology constitutes a distinct entity. We reviewed the literature comparing PNES with other functional neurological symptoms, finding eight studies that directly examined this question. Though all but one found significant differences - notably in presenting age, trauma history, and dissociation - they were divided on whether these differences represented an important distinction. We argue that the aetiological and mechanistic distinctions they support, particularly when bolstered by additional data, give reason to sustain a separation between these conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-429
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number5
Early online date24 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


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