Expert: 80% of Patients With Functional Seizures Are Initially Misdiagnosed With Epilepsy


Lea Davis, PhD, of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, describes some methods by which the frequent misdiagnosis of functional seizures could be addressed within health systems.

Contemporary Clinic® interviewed Lea Davis, PhD, an associate professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and an investigator in the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, on a recent study she co-authored that was published in JAMA Network Open on the epidemiology of functional seizures among adults treated at a university hospital.

During the discussion, Davis explained that approximately 80% of patients who experience functional seizures are initially misdiagnosed with epilepsy and treated with anti-epileptic drugs. To address this issue, Davis describes some methods by which this problem could be managed within health systems so that providers can more accurately identify and diagnose functional seizures in the future.

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