Non-Epileptic Events (Pseudoseizures)
What are Non-epileptic Events?
Non-epileptic events, or pseudoseizures, are stereotyped events with repetitive, involuntary movements, which may occur with an intact or altered level of consciousness. When these events are captured on electroencephalography (EEG), brain wave patterns are normal, or do not reflect seizure activity.
While a normal EEG indicates that these events do not arise from abnormal brain activity, recent evidence has demonstrated abnormal autonomic activity occurring before, during and after an event. These studies suggest that non-epileptic are autonomic in nature, and reflect underlying autonomic dysregulation.
Once epileptic seizures have been ruled out by capturing an event on EEG, a diagnosis of non-epileptic events can be made. Despite being a relatively common problem, treatment options are currently limited. Patients are often recommended to see a psychiatrist, receive counselling and/or treatment with an anti-depressant. Unfortunately, this treatment approach does not target the underlying autonomic dysregulation, and is often unsuccessful at resolving these events. I have had excellent results using heart rate variability biofeedback with my patients, which works directly with the autonomic nervous system. In addition, if a preceding traumatic event is disclosed or suspected, this can be processed using Brainspotting, or other form of trauma therapy.