Day 5: Psychogenic Seizures

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Now these are really interesting to me.  Psychogenic seizures do not occur from epilepsy. Whilst they can appear to have pretty much exactly the same characteristics as epileptic seizures, their origin has nothing to do with increased or abnormal electrical activity.  This type is brought on by stress, emotions such as a psychological trauma.

They have previously been referred to as psuedoseizures, but now psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) is the current terminology.

Interestingly enough, 1 out of 5 patients who are referred to neurology or epilepsy clinics are diagnosed with PNES instead of epileptic seizures.

Whilst an EEG is helpful in eliminating the epilepsy diagnosis it cannot be that alone to provide a result of PNES.  It ideally will require a video EEG as well and for a long period of time, over days rather than just hours.

The seizure similarities that PNES mimic are tonic clonic, with the falling and shaking, absences/petit mal with the staring and blankness and complex partial.

Picture credit: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201507/trauma-and-the-freeze-response-good-bad-or-both

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