Functional neurological disorders are frequently encountered in clinical practice. They have a poor prognosis and treatment options are limited. Their etiology is unknown, but leading theories propose a disturbance of somatic self-representation: the mind perceives dysfunction of a body region despite intact motor and sensory pathways. Central to this model is the concept of an abnormal top-down cognitive influence upon sensorimotor function. There is growing interest in the use of 5-HT2A agonists in the management of neuropsychiatric conditions. Recent studies have shown that these agents induce changes in neural activity that disrupt hierarchical brain dynamics and modulate networks subserving self-related processing. Converging evidence suggests they may hold unique therapeutic potential in functional neurological disorders. This is of importance given the considerable personal and societal burden of this condition and we argue a clinical trial to test this hypothesis is warranted.
Keywords: 5HT2a agonists; fMRI; functional neurological disorders; neural dynamics..
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.