OBJECTIVES: (1) To measure depressive and dissociative symptoms in a population of patients with Non-Epileptic Seizures (NES, or pseudo-seizures); (2) To compare NES with Epileptic subjects and Normal controls; (3) To try to define a personality profile specific, or typical, of NES patients. METHODS: Patients: 30 consecutive patients (21 females and 9 males, mean age 32.9+/-11.7 years) with NES diagnosed on clinical basis and confirmed by video-EEG recording; 30 patients with epilepsy matched for age and sex who had presented at least two seizures in the 12 months prior to the study despite pharmacological treatment; 30 Control subjects, healthy volunteers, matched for age and sex. Psychometric evaluation: Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS), Dissociative Experience Scale (DES), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). Groups were compared by means of one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for independent samples, followed by posthoc Tukey HSD Test, with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. RESULTS: Depressive and dissociative symptoms showed a significantly higher prevalence in the NES group as compared to Epileptics (p<0.001) and Controls (p<0.001), whereas patients with epilepsy did not differ from Controls. The analysis of the MMPI-2 in NES group showed a general increase in most MMPI-2 T-scores as compared to Epileptics and Controls, rather than a constant elevation (T-score>70) of one or more scales. No specific personality profile could be identified for the NES group. CONCLUSIONS: Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that depression and dissociative mechanisms are important precursors to the development and expression of NES.
- Non-Epileptic Seizures
- dissociative symptoms