What is it?

Pseudoseizures, or psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), are seizures that do not involve changes in brain activities. These seizures are probably caused by some psychological causes. PNES looks like epilepsy but the causes for the disorders are completely different. The term pseudoseizure is not used anymore because "pseudo" implies that the person is pretending to have a seizure, which is not true. Underlying conditions may include mood disorders, personality disorders, dissociative disorders, PTSD, anxiety, a history of sexual or physical abuse, family conflict or stress, previous traumatic brain injury, attention deficits, substance use and behavioral disturbances.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- non convulsive seizures
- Pseudoseizures
- PNES

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of nonepileptic seizures may include suddenly becoming unresponsive, changes in consciousness, shaking movements, pelvic thrusting, moving the head from side to side, eyes closing, closing the mouth,and staring spells.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of PNES is usually done by ruling out epilepsy (normal EEG, not responding to antiepileptic treatment). Filming the seizures could help the diagnosis. Then, mental health care professionals will finally give the diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment includes therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy and treatment of the underlying cause with therapy or medical treatment.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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