Community Forum

Conversion disorder (PNES) or Epileptic Seizures

 My question is:
¿How can I differentiate an epileptic seizure and a conversion disorder seizure?

My wife has generilized seizures almost every month during her period. Also, whenever she gets sick or doesn't get enough sleep, or whenever she feels weak it's probable that she will experience a seizure.
-She loses consciousness during seizures, but she doesn't lose control of her sphincters, seizures last between a few minutes to long periods, it can be easily confused with an epileptic status.
-She is 28 years old and has been having seizures since 2006 (8 years).
-Doctors haven't been able to differentiate between organic seizures (epilepsia) or conversion disorder (pseudo-seizures).
- IRM studies show no anomaly in her head.
- Doctors differ in their EEG interpretation some say that it is normal (no organic reason) and others argue that there is abnormal activity in her left temporal lobe.
-Final diagnosis from doctors is that she may have both kind of seizures. Some of them would have organic reasons and other would be pseudo-seizures.
-She has been prescribed with Levetiracetam, Magnesium Valproate and Topiramate but after using them for more than one year no change has been found in the seizures timing.
- Right now she is being treated with Clonazepam and Citalopram, she has being using them for around one year with no change in seizures timing but with a better quality of life.
-We have studies from 2006 -2014 (EEG and IRM) and we would be glad to share them with other people and doctors to help with diagnosis.

We have been looking for the right diagnosis because seizures keep coming and we want to use the less medication possible in order to improve our quality of life. All her seizures look the same and have the same unleashing mechanism.

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline