Author: Gretchen Hinson, M.D.
- PNES vs. epilepsy: postictal state is diagnostic of an epileptic seizure (sonorous respirations and/or confusion, lasting typically 20-30 minutes); Epileptiform seizures show decrease in convulsion frequency, but increase in convulsion amplitude while PNES convulsions demonstrate episodic convulsion amplitudes; and epileptiform seizures usually do not pause.
- PNES is a form of conversion disorder and can be associated with underlying personality disorder; however there are patients with epilepsy that also can have PNES which complicates the diagnosis and treatment.
- Patients that are malingering may have flailing movements and might talk during the episodes – both not typical of epileptic seizures or PNES.
- Treatment for PNES is with psychotropic medications and psychotherapy as opposed to antiepileptic medications
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