International Symposium | 19th to 22nd September


NEWroscience 2023


Vera Cristina Terra

Comprehensive Care Center for Epilepsy –EPICENTRO, Nossa Senhora das Graças Hospital, Curitiba, Brasil.


Pseudoseizures, Seizures and Epilepsies: How Can we Objectively Differentiate them?

In this presentation it will be discussed that since ancient times, several mythical, non-natural explanations, either of demons or blessings were used to explain paroxysmal events with the generic names of fits, convulsions, or seizures. Those entities were afterwards explained phenomenologically, either through mechanistic proposals and with the advent of the arsenal and knowledge of science and technology, with objective semiological definitions and electrophysiological or imaging correlates. Consequently, their classification as non-epileptic seizures (pseudo-seizures; psychogenic seizures), actual epileptic seizures, and epilepsies, and their differential diagnosis, was made possible. However, even in current times, there is a great deal of variations of presentations of these neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations (other paroxysmal events, rather than seizures), that it is necessary to clarify what are the differences between them and how to proceed from the first diagnostic moment to the recognition that several of them can be expressed simultaneously as comorbidities and how much they influence or modify each other. It will be therefore highlighted here that ignoring those issues will deeply affect differential diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, with dangerous impacts such as lack of, or erroneous diagnosis and treatment, risks of sudden death, among others.