Psychiatric disorders in patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, with and without comorbid epilepsy

Seizure. 2006 Jul;15(5):333-9. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2006.04.003. Epub 2006 May 23.


Purpose: The aim of this study is to describe similarities and differences in epidemiological, psychiatric and semiologic variables between patients with psychogenic none epileptic seizures (PNES) and comorbid epilepsy (mixed PNES), and patients with PNES without comorbid epilepsy (pure PNES).

Results: Forty-three patients with PNES diagnosed by Video-EEG were included. Twenty-four had pure PNES, and ninteen mixed PNES. Female population, age, duration of PNES, psychiatric institutionalization, psychopharmacotherapy, dissociative disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), were significantly higher in the pure PNES patients. Suicide attempts, antiepileptic therapy, conversive, affective and personality disorders were frequent in both groups. In the analysis of seizure semiology, the total lack of responsiveness was significantly higher in the mixed PNES group.

Conclusions: Pure PNES patients showed similarities and differences in the psychiatric profile, with a greater prevalence of dissociative disorders and PTSD, factors related to psychiatric severity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / classification
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Seizures / complications
  • Seizures / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data
  • Video Recording