Nonepileptic Seizures

The term nonepileptic seizures is used to describe any intermittent event that resembles an epileptic seizure but is not caused by the neuronal discharges that characterize true epileptic seizures.

This article reviews the clinical features and the dilemmas which arise from the differential diagnosis of nonepileptic seizures, as well as the possibility of differential diagnosis of nonepileptic from epileptic seizures, by using the video EEG monitoring, the levels of plasma prolactin and the psychometric tests.

Emphasis is given to the psychogenic seizures. Furthermore, the epileptiform sleep disorders, such as parasomnias, myoclonic jerks, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea are described.

Certain cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disorders, such as transient ischemic attacks, migraine, transient global amnesia, syncope, breath holding and hyperventilation are discussed. Toxic, metabolic, extrapyramidal and other epileptiform disorders are also analyzed.

Finally, the features of concussive convulsions in elite Australian rules and rugby league footballers, that have been studied recently, are mentioned.

Key words: Non-epileptic seizures, Pseudoseizures.