There is no standardized test for functional neurological disorder. Usually, diagnosis involves the assessment of symptoms and ruling out other medical conditions that could cause the existing symptoms. Doctors diagnose this disorder based on specific patterns of symptoms and signs.
Diagnosing functional neurologic disorders usually involves a neurologist. It may also involve a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist. Other names for FND includes conversion disorder and functional neurological symptom disorder.
FND is a disorder or medical condition caused by a problematic nervous system and how the body and brain send or receive signals. Functional neurologic disorders can include a wide variety of neurologic symptoms. Some of these include seizures and limb weakness. This condition is at the interface between psychiatry and neurology.
Tests such as EEGs and MRI brain scans are usually standard for patients with FND. Many researchers and clinicians tended to neglect this condition. Nowadays, they understand that functional neurological disorder is a common cause of distress and disability. These problems may overlap with other issues such as fatigue and chronic pain.
People with FND can experience a combination of symptoms. These may be cognitive, sensory, and/or physical. Some of these include:
Episodes of altered awareness, such as dissociative seizures, faints, and blackouts
Double vision or loss of vision
Altered sensations such as pain or tingling in the face, limbs, or torso and numbness
Speech symptoms such as stuttering speech or dysphonia
Movement disorders such as jerky movements, spasms, tremors, and problems walking
Limb weakness or paralysis
These symptoms may vary or fluctuate from one day to another. They may also be present all the time. Some patients may experience complete or substantial remission followed by sudden relapses of FND symptoms.
Functional neurology aids in diagnosing and treating simple and complex neurological disorders. It does not involve surgery or pharmaceuticals. It involves the use of a wide range of evidence-based procedures.
Also known as chiropractic neurology, this treatment is a new concept for many people. Think of it as an exercise for the brain. Exercising your brain will make it stronger. Likewise, exercising any muscle in your body will make it stronger.
Making the brain stronger means improving its function. FND symptoms are not all in your head. Changing the way that you think about things can have a huge impact on your symptoms and recovery. Some psychiatric treatment options for FND can help treat various mood disorders. These treatments include:
Treatment of other mental health conditions
Pharmaceuticals are not effective for FND. None have FDA approval as a specific treatment for this condition. Medications such as antidepressants may help if you also have mood disorders. Regular follow-up appointments are important as well.
To learn more about functional neurology, contact Bagnell Brain Center. Our office is in Pinecrest, Florida. You can call (305) 889-7488 today to schedule an appointment.