Pseudopseudoseizures: Conditions That May Mimic Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures

Jason P. Caplan, Tracy Binius, Vanda A. Lennon, Sean J. Pittock, Murali S. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Video electroencephalography (vEEG) has proven to be a valuable tool in the differentiation of pseudoseizures or psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) from epileptic seizures. Clinicians should, however, be aware of a number of conditions that may be misdiagnosed as pseudoseizures. Objective: To review a number of somatic conditions that can present with disturbances of consciousness and unusual motor activity without epileptiform findings on vEEG. Method: We report a case of a young woman who presented with a number of neuropsychiatric symptoms, including episodic posturing and rhythmic movements. The absence of epileptiform findings on vEEG resulted in a diagnosis of conversion disorder with pseudoseizures. She was ultimately diagnosed with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor autoimmune encephalitis (AIE) secondary to an ovarian tumor. AIE and other potential mimics of pseudoseizures are discussed. Results: A number of somatic conditions can present with symptoms that may be misinterpreted as pseudoseizure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-506
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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