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Medication prescriptions in 322 motor functional neurological disorder patients in a large UK mental health service: A case control study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


King's Authors



This study describes medication prescribing patterns in patients with motor functional neurological disorder (mFND) treated in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), comparing outcomes to a control group of psychiatric patients from the same hospital trust.


This is a retrospective case-control study using a psychiatric case register. Cross-sectional data were obtained from 322 mFND patients and 644 psychiatry controls who had had contact with SLaM between 1st January 2006 and 31st December 2016.


A slightly lower proportion of mFND patients received medication compared to controls (76.6% v. 83.4%, OR: 0.59, CI: 0.39–0.89, p < 0.05). Of medication recipients, mFND patients were prescribed a higher number of agents (mean: 4.7 v 2.9, p = 0.001) and had higher prescription rates of antidepressants, anti-epileptics, analgesics, and certain non-psychotropic medications. Higher numbers of prescriptions were associated with co-morbid physical conditions, and previous psychiatric admissions.


This is the first study to describe medication prescriptions in a large cohort of mFND patients. Patients were prescribed a wide range of psychiatric and physical health medications, with higher rates of polypharmacy than controls. Psychotropicmedication prescription is not necessarily the first line treatment for mFND, where physiotherapy and psychotherapy may be offered initially. There is limited, early-phase evidence for pharmacological therapies for mFND, and as such, the benefit-to-risk ratio of prescribing in this complex and poorly understood disorder should be carefully assessed.

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