PseudoseizuresBMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2492 (Published 27 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2492
This week’s question is on pseudoseizures and is taken from the onExamination revision questions for the MRCPsych Papers 1 and 2.
Which one of the following features suggests a diagnosis of dissociative non-epileptic attacks (pseudoseizures) as opposed to generalised tonic-clonic seizures?
B Gradual onset of episode
C Post episode sleepiness
D Severe tongue biting
E Urinary incontinence
Answer B is correct.
A gradual onset is suggestive of non-epileptic attacks. The other features suggest genuine generalised tonic-clonic seizures.
Other characteristics of pseudoseizures are:
Patients mainly female (8:1)
Previous illness behaviour
Childhood physical or sexual abuse (or both)
Diagnosis is often not 100%—video electroencephalography is helpful.
For a free “question of the day” from onExamination, relevant to the MRCPsych Papers 1 and 2, go to: www.onexamination.com/psychiatry/mrcpsych-paper-1-and-2/question-of-the-day.
Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2244