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Abstract Details

Epileptiform Discharges in Patients with Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Attacks: A Case Series
Epilepsy/Clinical Neurophysiology (EEG)
P1 - Poster Session 1 (8:00 AM-9:00 AM)
9-009

Over the past decade, there was an increased emphasis on the need to correctly diagnose patients with PNEA to avoid unnecessary treatment with anti-seizure drugs and initiate psychotherapy to attain good clinical outcome. Misdiagnosing PNEA with “refractory epilepsy” could be due to misinterpreted EEG as “abnormal with epileptiform discharges” or co-existence of PNEA with EDs in the absence of clinical seizures. Although, PNEA is seen in up to 12% of epilepsy patients, there are rare cases where PNEA only occurs without confirmed epilepsy despite the presence of EDs.

We present a small case series of patients with psychogenic non-epileptic attacks (PNEA), who were misdiagnosed with “refractory epilepsy” based on the presence of epileptiform discharges (EDs), particularly generalized spike-and-wave, on their EEG. This diagnosis was reversed after admission to the epilepsy monitoring unit for spell characterization, where all stereotypical events of interest were captured and were deemed non-epileptic.

We identified seven patients with only PNEA and EDs admitted to Epilepsy Monitoring Unit for “refractory epilepsy” and retrospectively reviewed their records including their EEG.

None of the stereotypical events captured on video-EEG was associated with ictal EEG correlates. Six had generalized spike-and-wave discharges (GSW) without clinical accompaniments. Of patients who initiated psychotherapy, 60% had ≥ 50% reduction in frequency of PNEA.  

EDs can occur in “PNEA-only” patients and shouldn’t delay PNEA diagnosis or effective psychotherapeutic treatment. 

Authors/Disclosures
Mohamed Afify, MD
PRESENTER
Dr. Afify has nothing to disclose.
Benjamin David Tolchin, MD, FAAN (Yale University School of Medicine) The institution of Dr. Tolchin has received research support from C.G. Swebilius Trust.
Hamada Hamid Altalib, DO (VA Connecticut Healthcare System) The institution of Dr. Altalib has received research support from UCB. The institution of Dr. Altalib has received research support from Eisai. The institution of Dr. Altalib has received research support from Sunovian. The institution of Dr. Altalib has received research support from DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS.
Lawrence J. Hirsch, MD, FAAN (Yale University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center) Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Ceribell. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $5,000-$9,999 for serving as a Consultant for marinus. The institution of Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $10,000-$49,999 for serving as a Consultant for UCB. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Accure. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Natus. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Neurelis. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Eisai. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Rafa Laboratories, Ltd. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Consultant for Rapport Therapeutics. Dr. Hirsch has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care. Dr. Hirsch has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $5,000-$9,999 for serving as a Speaker with Neuropace. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a Speaker with Natus. Dr. Hirsch has received personal compensation in the range of $500-$4,999 for serving as a speaker with UCB.
Aline Herlopian, MD (Yale University) Dr. Herlopian has nothing to disclose.