Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Dr. Mary Walton, DMSc, PA


Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), formerly known as conversion disorder, is a common yet often misunderstood diagnosis. FND is described as neurological symptoms without phenotypic features of a recognized neurological condition. Subtypes of FND include functional limb weakness, gait disorder, seizures, movement disorder, speech disturbance, and cognitive impairment, among others. No longer considered a diagnosis of exclusion, the diagnostic criteria for FND are based on positive physical exam findings. FND can be comorbid with neurological and psychological conditions. However, psychological comorbidities are not required to make the diagnosis. Treatment of FND consists of a multidisciplinary approach, including primary care, neurology, behavioral health, and rehabilitation team. This article aims to educate clinicians on recent advancements to the understanding and diagnosis of FND and to provide a practical approach to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to patients with functional neurological symptoms.


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