Lack of Resetting of Brain Dynamics Following Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures

Aaron Faith, Balu Krishnan, Austin Roth, Efstathios Kondylis, Korwyn Williams, Joseph Sirven, and Leonidas Iasemidis


Medical Signal Processing, Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures, Spatiotemporal Brain Dynamics, Electroencephalography


The average delay in diagnosis of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) is more than 7 years. During this period, patients with PNES may suffer from side-effects of unnecessary anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), not receive appropriate treatment, and lead to the expenditure of millions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs. In this study PNES was investigated in a systematic way in terms of resetting of brain dynamics. We used measures from chaos theory to analyze available long-term scalp electroencephalograms (EEGs) recorded from two PNES patients in order to quantify the probability of resetting the brain’s spatiotemporal synchronization following PNES. We then compared the likelihood of resetting the brain’s synchronization following PNES with other times randomly selected during the recordings. Our results show no significant difference between brain synchronization resetting following PNES versus interictal periods in either patient (p-values of 0.71 and 0.24 respectively). A comparison of these novel results with our prior results of statistically significant (p < 0.05) resetting of brain dynamics following epileptic seizures shows a distinct, possibly defining, difference between PNES and epileptic seizures. This finding could lead to the development of a diagnostic test to distinguish PNES from epileptic seizures.

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