There are few published population-based data for psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES). We prospectively identified first presentations of PNES from a population of 367,566, over 3 years. PNES were diagnosed in 68 patients, in 54 of whom the diagnosis was confirmed by video/EEG recording, indicating an incidence of 4.90/100,000/year. Median diagnostic delay was 0.6 ± 0.2 year. At presentation with PNES, our patients already had high rates of psychological morbidity, medically unexplained symptoms other than PNES, and economic dependence. At 3 months postdiagnosis, 27 of 54 patients (50.0%) were spell free. For 24 of the 27 patients (88.9%), spells ceased immediately on communication of the diagnosis. At 6 months, 24 of 54 patients (44.4%) were spell free. Poor early outcome was predicted by unemployment. Our data suggest that early outcome is good in patients with recent-onset PNES, but some patients relapse quickly.
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