Literature Monitor

Understanding Psychopathology of PNES

Seizure; 2017 Nov; Baslet et al.


Patients who experience altered responsiveness during a psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) may have some sort of psychological vulnerability suggests a recent analysis of video-EEG confirmed PNES.

  • Among 77 patients with confirmed PNES, 47 (66%) were found to have altered responsiveness.
  • This group was more likely to display experiential avoidance, the tendency to avoid thoughts, feelings, memories, and related internal experiences.
  • A review of patients’ demographics, clinical history, and questionnaires also found patients with altered responsiveness during PNES had more affect intolerance, suggesting their inability to tolerate emotions.
  • The same group presented with a family history of seizures, headaches, and loss of consciousness during traumatic brain injury.
  • Researchers suggested that these patients may benefit from a treatment plan that concentrates on emotion management.

Baslet G, Tolchin B, Dworetzky BA. Altered responsiveness in psychogenic nonepileptic seizures and its implication to underlying psychopathology. Seizure. 2017;52:162-168.

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