PNES: Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures

Even though PNES occurs in 20-30% of people who are seen at Epilepsy treatment centres, it is still considered a “rare” and little-talked about disease.

PNES presents just like epilepsy, but the cause is not the abnormal brain electrical discharges that cause Epilepsy but rather psychological distress.

PNES is diagnosed similarly to Epilepsy, through the use of EEG- video monitoring. As a regular EEG can not always detect Epilepsy and PNES, the video component is important, as there are cues in the presentation of the seizures that help doctors determine the presence of PNES vs Epilepsy.

People who have Epilepsy can also experience psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, along with their epileptic seizures.

The most curious part of PNES is that often once patients are informed of the disorder, seizures stop entirely or are radically reduced.

While patients will be treated by a neurologist during the diagnosis process, they most often will be referred to a psychiatrist – if possible a neuropsychiatrist .




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