Epilepsy & FNS

What Is Epilepsy?

The term epilepsy describes a spectrum of neurological disorders causing seizures. During a seizure the normal pattern of neuronal activity in the brain is suddenly disturbed, producing symptoms ranging from strange sensations, emotions, and behavior to convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness.

Learn more about living with epilepsy.

What Are Functional Neurological Symptoms (FNS)?

Functional neurological symptoms (FNS) are a wide spectrum of sensory and motor symptoms, such as functional movement disorders and tremors, non-epileptic seizures, visual impairments and blindness, touch sensitivity, drop-attacks, or paralysis. FNS are real. Individuals experiencing neurological symptoms that are not explained by an identifiable organic cause account for approximately one-third of all new patients seen in neurology outpatient clinics. About 50% of patients visiting a neurologist have some variety of functional or dissociative symptom, and up to 10% of neurology inpatients have a primary ‘‘functional’’ diagnosis.

These patients are often severely limited in their day-to-day life, and feel distressed, isolated, and confused. Contrary to popular belief, anybody can experience a sudden onset of FNS. Age, gender, mental health, level of education, or other demographic factors seem to not impact the onset of FNS

Learn more about functional neurological symptoms.

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