What are possible non-genetic familial factors in the etiology of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES)?

Updated: Jul 26, 2018
  • Author: Selim R Benbadis, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Limited data suggest that conversion disorder frequently occurs in relatives of individuals with conversion disorder. Symptoms are often modeled from affected family members. Therefore, a thorough family history of medical conditions is essential. Case series show an increased risk in monozygotic but not dizygotic twins.

Nongenetic familial factors, such as incestuous sexual abuse in childhood, may be associated with an increased risk for conversion disorder. The conversion disorder may be the only mechanism for communication that remains available to the child or adolescent.


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