Non-epileptic attack disorder: the importance of diagnosis and treatment

Jon Mark Dickson, Marian Peacock, Richard A. Grünewald, Stephanie Howlett, Paul Bissell, Markus Reuber

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Abstract

A 50-year-old woman was taken to hospital by emergency ambulance during her first seizure. She was admitted to hospital, treated with intravenous diazepam, diagnosed with epilepsy and started on antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy. This was ineffective so she was referred to a tertiary centre where she underwent video EEG and was diagnosed with non-epileptic attack disorder. Her experience of the diagnosis was positive; it allowed her to understand what was happening to her and to understand the link between her seizures, adverse childhood experiences and the death of her mother. She stopped taking AEDs and she was referred to a psychologist which led to a significant improvement in her functioning and quality of life. We present this case as a good example of the benefits of accurate diagnosis, clear explanation and access to specialist care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Case Reports
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

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