Journal of Neurology

, Volume 250, Issue 11, pp 1355–1362

Clinical significance of recurrent psychogenic nonepileptic seizure status


    • Academic Unit of Neurology, Division of Genomic MedicineUniversity of Sheffield L-Floor, Royal Hallamshire Hospital
  • Ralf Pukrop
    • Dept. of Psychiatry & PsychotherapyUniversity of Cologne
  • Alex J. Mitchell
    • Dept. of Liaison Psychiatry, Brandon Mental Health UnitLeicester General Hospital
  • Jürgen Bauer
    • Dept. of EpileptologyUniversity of Bonn
  • Christian E. Elger
    • Dept. of EpileptologyUniversity of Bonn

DOI: 10.1007/s00415-003-0224-z

Cite this article as:
Reuber, M., Pukrop, R., Mitchell, A.J. et al. J Neurol (2003) 250: 1355. doi:10.1007/s00415-003-0224-z


To explore the clinical significance of a history of recurrent psychogenic nonepileptic seizure status (PNES-status), this study describes the frequency of PNES-status in 85 consecutive PNES patients and examines whether there are relevant differences between patients with a history of recurrent PNES-status and other PNES-patients. PNES patients were also compared with 64 patients with epilepsy. Data were extracted from hospital records and a postal questionnaire (Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology-Basic Questionnaire; Screening for Somatoform Symptoms; Dissociative Experience Scale). Of the PNES-patients, 77.6% reported at least one seizure > 30 minutes (PNES-status), 27 % admission to intensive care with status. 38.8% reported recurrent hospital admissions with status (PNES-status group), the remaining patients served as PNES-controls. The only clinical difference between the two PNES groups was that status patients were younger than PNES-controls (mean age 20.3 vs. 30.3 years, p = 0.001). Our results suggest that PNES status is common and often unrecognised. There were no substantial psychometric differences between patients with recurrent PNES-status and other PNES patients although both PNES-groups had more abnormal somatisation, dissociation and personality scores than patients with epilepsy.

Key words

psychogenic nonepileptic seizurespseudostatusstatus epilepticuspersonalitysomatisation

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2003