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Epilepsy

Medications for epilepsy vs psychogenic

10/06/2008

Question:

I suffer with both Epileptic and Psychogenic seizures. Can anti-epilectic medications be used to treat both types of seizures?

Answer:

Psychogenic seizures (also called nonepileptic seizures) are different from an epileptic seizure in that the clinical symptoms do not result from an abnormal electrical disturbance of the brain. In general, it is thought that underlying psychological distress results in the development of physical symptoms that mimic epileptic seizures. The diagnosis should only be made with video/EEG monitoring. Nonepileptic seizures cannot be treated with seizure medications because the medications only prevent the abnormal electrical activity in the brain that is seen with epileptic seizures.

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Response by:

David M Ficker, MD David M Ficker, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati