Functional non-epileptic seizures: An interdisciplinary approach for diagnosis and treatment
Functional non-epileptic seizures (FS) are abrupt episodes of altered motor, sensory or behavioral activity that can resemble epileptic seizures, but present without the expected electrophysiologic changes. FS can occur independently or alongside epilepsy and are identified in up to 30% of individuals referred to tertiary care centers for medication refractory seizures. Psychological trauma, childhood abuse, traumatic brain injury and depression, are some of the factors which can precede or accompany this condition. Additionally, neurobiological models for FS point to abnormal connectivity between hubs that guide emotional processing, executive control, self-awareness, and sensorimotor function. In light of this, the care of individuals with FS benefits from a partnership between neurology and behavioral health to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment. While treatment is often centered around psychotherapy, an interdisciplinary approach ensures that both the primary condition and associated comorbidities are addressed.