Making sense of non-epileptic seizures

Epileptic Disord. 2005 Jun;7(2):123-30.


Background: Non-epileptic seizures (NES) are a chronic condition that is frequently misdiagnosed. Limited awareness of the condition may contribute to mismanagement and poor outcome.

Methods: Medline and PsycLit review of clinical and laboratory studies.

Results: The concept of NES is clarified, common clinical presentations are reviewed and the differential diagnoses considered. A general overview of possible mechanisms and pathological findings is presented. Finally, epidemiological, prognostic, and treatment issues are described.

Conclusions: Clinicians increased awareness of NES, together with new diagnostic techniques will improve diagnosis and outcome of this condition. Further research is needed into the pathophysiology, etiology and maintenance mechanisms of non-epileptic seizures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / complications*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / therapy
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Seizures / etiology*
  • Seizures / therapy