Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.
Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;112:875-9
Authors: Lortie A
Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) are clinical events resembling epileptic seizures but lacking abnormal cortical electrical discharges. They are involuntary manifestations of a psychological distress. PNES are less frequent in the pediatric population than in adults, they represent from 3.5 to 9% of patients admitted for prolonged video-EEG (PV-EEG). Diagnosis is rarely made on history only and PV-EEG is mandatory to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Children as young as 5 years can present with PNES. They are more frequent in girls except in school age children where boys are identically or more represented than girls. PNES can either present with subtle signs, even unresponsiveness, or prominent motor activity. Major differential diagnosis is absences, day dreaming, and complex partial seizures including hyperkinetic frontal seizures. PNES are usually rapidly registered during PV-EEG and provocative methods have not been thoroughly studied in children. Major risk factors are psychological stressors, such as school or family problems. Psychiatric conditions are less frequent than in adults though they should be looked for. Prognosis is better than in adults, and most children become PNES-free. There are no guidelines for treatment, however stressors should be addressed. In general, it should be clearly explained that PNES are not epileptic seizures.
PMID: 23622297 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]