Functional neurological disorder

What is functional neurological disorder?

Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a rare condition in which the nervous system doesn't function correctly, sending incorrect signals between the brain and body. Hence, FND is a condition that involves a person's neurology and psychiatry. Often, scans done on a patient with FND do not show any abnormailities, and hence sometimes it has been neglected by physicians. Nowadays, however, more research has been done on FND and it is recognised as a cause of disability, pain and fatigue. 

What are the signs or symptoms of FND?

FND may cause motor or sensory dysfunction, as well as episodes of altered awareness. An example of a motor dysfunction would be functional speech problems (e.g. slurring or stuttering). An example of a sensory dysfunction could be visual problems or feeling numbness in your limbs. An episode of altered awareness would be a non-epileptic seizure and/or fainting (sometimes these may overlap).

What causes functional neurological disorder?

The exact cause of FND is unknown, however risk factors or triggers may include injury, infectious illness or migraines.

How is FND treated?

Treatment of FND uses a combination of psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

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