Emotional Lived in Patients Suffering From Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures : Study by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • End date
    Apr 22, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Central Hospital, Nancy, France
Updated on 22 June 2021


Currently, hypothetical models of understanding Psychogenic Non-epileptic Seizures (PNES) involve emotional dysregulation.

The hypothesis of a disorder of emotional experience is mainly based on behavioral data and disturbance of autonomic responses in response to images in emotional content (Mignot et al 2015, in submission; Bakvis et al 2013). Various imaging studies have identified brain structures belonging to the limbic system in particular that seem functionally impaired in this population. These functional connectivity abnormalities are correlated with dissociation scores in PNES patients (Van der Kruijs et al 2012 and 2014).

Investigators propose to specifically study the brain activity of PNES patients during tasks emotional content to identify the mechanisms involved in this emotional dysregulation. This work is essential to understanding the mechanisms and the development of new therapeutic strategies

Condition Psychogenic Non-epileptic Seizures
Treatment Psychiatric evaluation, fMRI, fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02976545
SponsorCentral Hospital, Nancy, France
Last Modified on22 June 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Affiliation to the French social security system
Specific Inclusion Criteria for PNES group
Informed signing of the study consent
PNES diagnosed by a neurologist specialized in epilepsy, based on clinical symptoms analysis and video-EEG recording
Absence of concomitant epilepsy
Specific Inclusion Criteria for PTSD group : PTSD diagnosed by a psychiatrist
based on clinical symptoms as recorded in DSM5 (Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders)
Specific Inclusion Criteria for healthy controls : Healthy controls will be
paired up with patients on age and level of schooling criteria

Exclusion Criteria

common criteria for all groups
History of head trauma
Neurological history or comorbidity (epilepsy included)
Mental retardation
Current neurological treatment
Posology change or introduction of psychoactive treatment dating back to less than a month
Uncorrected visual impairment
Psychotic comorbidity (schizophrenia)
Addiction history apart for smoking
Being the subject of articles L.1121-5 to L.1121-8 and L1122-1-2 of the French Code of Public Health (i.e. being a not responsible adult)
Lack of French language proficiency or inability to understand instructions
Specific exclusion Criteria for PTSD group
Any contraindication to MRI (pacemaker, ferromagnetic foreign body, claustrophobia, etc.)
Specific exclusion Criteria for PNES group : Diagnosis of PNES challenged or
denied by the patient
Diagnosis of PTSD challenged or denied by the patient, current or history of functional neurological symptom disorder
History of PNES (conversion disorder)
Specific exclusion Criteria for healthy controls
History of PTSD
History of PNES (conversion disorder)
Clear my responses

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