The question of symptom lateralization in conversion disorder

J Psychosom Res. 2000 Jul;49(1):21-5. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(00)00075-1.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not conversion symptoms are lateralized. Studies have shown a predominant left-oriented manifestation of symptoms for most somatoform disorders. The reports in the literature on the lateralization of conversion symptoms, however, are rather conflicting. They show left-sided, right-sided, or no symptom lateralization in conversion disorders.

Methods: One hundred fourteen patients with conversion disorder were screened for symptom lateralization.

Results: Those patients with unilateral symptoms (32.5%) showed no significant bias toward left or right symptom presentation.

Conclusion: Based on these results, and the conflicting findings from previous studies, we conclude that there is insufficient support for lateralization theories in conversion disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis
  • Conversion Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Sick Role*