Psychogenic seizures are seizures that do not have a physical cause.
They can be caused by stress, injury, emotional trauma, or mental illness.
Psychogenic seizures are a type of nonepileptic seizure. This means they are not caused by
epilepsy. But people with epilepsy may have
psychogenic seizures. Psychogenic seizures are sometimes called pseudoseizures.
It is important to distinguish psychogenic seizures from epilepsy,
because the risks may outweigh any benefit of treating psychogenic seizures
with antiepileptic medicines.
Psychogenic seizures are not caused by abnormal
electrical activity in the brain. A person having a psychogenic seizure will
not have the typical
electroencephalogram (EEG) findings of an epileptic
The events that are witnessed during a psychogenic seizure
tend to vary from seizure to seizure. This is different from epileptic
seizures, which seem to progress in a similar pattern every time.
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology