Neuropsychiatric Associations With Gender, Illness Duration, Work Disability, and Motor Subtype in a U.S. Functional Neurological Disorders Clinic Population

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2017 Fall;29(4):375-382. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.16110302. Epub 2017 Apr 28.


The assessment of functional neurological disorders (FND) requires an interdisciplinary approach. The authors retrospectively reviewed charts for 100 outpatients with FND and used univariate and regression analyses to investigate neuropsychiatric associations with gender, illness duration, and work disability; secondary analyses evaluated for differences across motor FND subtypes. Men reported higher rates of cognitive complaints and functional weakness, whereas women endorsed increased past physical/sexual trauma. Number of self-reported medication allergies/sensitivities positively correlated with illness duration. Individuals with functional weakness compared with other motor FND subtypes exhibited lower rates of past psychiatric hospitalization and head trauma. This study supports the feasibility of integrating FND research.

Keywords: Conversion Disorder; Functional Movement Disorders; Functional Neurological Disorder; Functional Weakness; Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Comorbidity
  • Conversion Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Conversion Disorder / physiopathology
  • Conversion Disorder / therapy
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy
  • Outpatients
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors