People with nonepileptic seizures (NES) have periods of seizure-like activity. NES are characterized by a loss of or change in physical function without a central nervous system problem. The loss or change causes periods of physical activity or inactivity that resemble epileptic seizures. A person can have both nonepileptic and epileptic seizures.
NES are usually related to a mental health problem. The physical symptoms may be caused by emotional conflicts or stress. One example of NES is psychogenic seizures, sometimes called pseudoseizures.
Here's a common scenario for the parent of a child with epilepsy: You find that your son has left his shoes in the middle of the living room floor for the umpteenth time, or that he still hasn't cleaned his room three weeks after you asked him, or that the garbage truck came and went this morning but he never dragged the cans to the curb.
So you decide it's time for a talk. But as you approach your son to lay down the law, you stop short. What if my yelling at him causes a seizure?
This is a common...
NES symptoms usually appear suddenly and at times of extreme emotional stress. Some doctors believe that the symptoms of NES may be an attempt to reduce anxiety by not recognizing or responding to an emotional conflict.
People with NES have periods of loss of or change in physical activity that resemble epileptic seizures or the aura of a seizure, such as:
People with NES usually exhibit only one symptom. But if episodes recur, the symptom may reappear but in a different location or intensity.
Treatment of NES varies with each person. The goals of treatment for NES are to relieve the stress or emotional conflicts that may be causing the loss of or change in physical function. Treatment may include medicines, counseling, or specific life changes, such as a job change or assistance at home.
Because NES are not caused by a problem in the brain, medicines that are used to treat epilepsy are not used to treat this condition.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
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