Literature Monitor

Psychogenic Testing Helps Separate PNES from Epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav; 2018 Oct; Tyson et al.


Neuropsychological testing may help differentiate epileptic seizures from psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) according to a study that evaluated data from 72 patients with epilepsy and 33 patients with PNES.

  • In the past, psychometric testing has been shown to have limited utility in differentiating PNES from epileptic seizures.
  • The new research suggests that multivariate assessment using several psychological tests is more effective in making the differential diagnosis.
  • Using logistic regression, investigators found that a combination of 7 neuropsychological tests accurately classified about 85% of patients.
  • The researchers acknowledged that video-EEG monitoring remains the gold standard for separating PNES from epileptic seizures but suggest that a standardized battery of neuropsychological tests may improve the clinical decision-making process.

Tyson BT, Baker S, Greenacre M, et al. Differentiating epilepsy from psychogenic nonepileptic seizures using neuropsychological test data. Epilepsy Behav. 2018;87:39-45.

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