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Epilepsy is often misdiagnosed

Epilepsy is often misdiagnosed
11th April 2012

Patients suspected of having epilepsy could be experiencing a different condition completely, according to a new study.

A team of physicians and psychologists at Johns Hopkins claim that many people admitted for epilepsy monitoring following a seizure are instead experiencing symptoms triggered by stress.

The condition, known as psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES), is common among war veterans, those locked in legal battles and over-worked professionals.

According to experts, the convulsions experienced by these patients are mimics of epileptic behaviour brought on by tension and will not respond to anti-seizure medication. Close observation will reveal that the brains electrical activity is normal.

PNES was previously called hysteria but now is classified as part of a conversion disorder that causes patients to unconsciously convert emotional problems into physical symptoms.

In the past people that exhibited indicators of hysteria were often sanctioned and placed in a asylum.

According to John Hopkins researchers, those people who are "highly suggestible" are particularly vulnerable to PNES.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.