Identifying psychiatric disorders rather than psychiatric symptoms might help to distinguish patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) from those with epileptic seizures (ES). Patients with PNES (n= 35), patients with ES (n= 35), and healthy controls (n= 37) were compared with respect to the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in this study. We tested the predictive power of having axis I psychiatric disorders, as well as personality disorders, in distinguishing ES from PNES. There was no significant difference between the patient groups in the prevalence of axis I psychiatric disorders. Personality disorders were more prevalent in the PNES group than in the ES group (P< 0.05). Having a personality disorder was the only predictor for the PNES group. Having a personality disorder seems to be a more significant predictor for PNES than having an axis I psychiatric disorder. Greater attention should be paid to personality disorders in the differentiation of PNES and ES and the provision of effective treatment.

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Epilepsy and Behavior
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Direk, N, Kulaksizoglu, I.B, Alpay, H, & Gurses, C. (2012). Using personality disorders to distinguish between patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures and those with epileptic seizures. Epilepsy and Behavior, 23(2), 138–141. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.11.013