Characteristics of patients with nonepileptic seizures

M. C. Brown, Bonnie E. Levin, R. Eugene Ramsay, Debra A. Katz, Michael S. Duchowny

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49 Scopus citations


The personality features, neuropsychological data, and ictal characteristics of 23 patients with nonepileptic seizures (NES) were compared to 25 patients with EEG-confirmed epileptic seizure (ES) disorders. A distinctive pattern of seizure, behavior, and personality features was evident in NES patients. NES was characterized by later disease onset and shorter disease duration. NES tends to last significantly longer than ES and rarely results in tongue-biting or self-injury. Patients who develop NES frequently have witnessed seizures prior to developing the disorder and have greater somatic concerns than patients with ES. Neuropsychological group data failed to differentiate NES from ES. However, the absence of group differences may reflect heterogeneity within the NES population. Although many NES patients performed well within normal limits on all neuropsychological measures, most were mildly to severely impaired. Qualitative analysis of neuropsychological data also revealed inconsistencies within the NES group. These findings suggest that a more global neurobehavioral profile may be useful in the diagnosis of NES. Future studies of NES must also recognize that important individual differences may be masked within group data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Epilepsy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • Nonepileptic seizures
  • Pseudoseizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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