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Nonepileptic Seizures


A nonepileptic seizure (NES) is a short period of symptoms that change how you move, think, or feel. A NES looks like an epileptic seizure, but there are no electrical changes in the brain. A NES is caused by the body's reaction to severe mental stress. Common triggers are depression, hallucinations, mild head injuries, and sexual or physical abuse. A NES is a serious condition. Early diagnosis and treatment are needed to prevent further problems.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


  • A CT or MRI may show your brain function. You may be given contrast liquid to help your brain, blood vessels, and skull show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
  • An EEG , or electroencephalogram, may show brain function. Small pads or metal discs are put on your head. Each has a wire that is hooked to a machine. This machine prints a paper tracing of brain wave activity from different parts of your brain. A video-electroencephalogram records behavior and the EEG at the same time. Changes in behavior are related to changes in the EEG.


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you learn to face a feared object or situation slowly and carefully. You will also learn to control the mental and physical reactions of fear.
  • Psychotherapy is therapy that includes your family or people who are close to you.


You have a higher risk for another seizure within the next 2 years. Medicines may cause dry mouth, fast heartbeat, constipation, sleepiness, or weight gain. Untreated NES may become a long-term condition that prevents you from having a normal life. Your health, quality of life, and ability to function may change. You may have trouble doing your daily activities.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.