Functional and Dissociative Neurological Symptoms : a patient's guide

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How to use this website ...

This website is about symptoms which are: • neurological (such as weakness, numbness or blackouts) • REAL (and not imagined) • and due to a PROBLEM with the FUNCTIONING of the nervous system, and NOT due to neurological disease. These symptoms have many names (including dissociative symptoms and conversion symptoms) but are often described as "functional symptoms" or "functional disorders" Symptoms like these are surprisingly common but can be difficult for patients and health professionals to understand. This website, written by a neurologist with a special interest in these problems, aims to give you a better understanding of these symptoms. It has no advertising and does not make any money for the author.

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Symptoms ...

Most people with functional or dissociative neurological symptoms have a combination of symptoms like "weakness, numbness and fatigue" or "blackouts and sleep problems"

Click on a symptom on the right or use the menu above to explore the symptoms that are relevant to you.

Click on ‘Causes’ to discover what is known about....

• what is going wrong in the body when they do happen.(Mechanisms) and
• why people become vulnerable to these symptoms (Causes)

Click on ‘Misdiagnosis’ to find out how likely it is that your diagnosis is wrong

Click on 'In the mind?’ for some answers to this question

Click on ‘Treatment’ for discussion of what treatments may help

Click on ‘Stories' for some real patient stories

Downloads and Links ...

Click on Links and Downloads tab on the menu above to access a wide range of leaflets, booklets and internet links

Mac /iphone/ipad users This is a Flash website and so may not display correctly at all times on these devices.

FUNDING: I'm grateful to the Neurology Research Fund of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh for funding this website. The cost for the website for the first two years was less than £200. I'm especially grateful to Ian Laverty for raising money with this website in mind.

In 2013,2014 and 2015 I was part of a University of Edinburgh event on the Edinburgh Fringe, one of the largest arts festivals in the world.

The event was part of a series organised by the Beltane Network and hosted by Susan Morrison, columnist and comedian, to raise awareness of new topics in medicine and science that the general public may not be aware of.

This is a clip from 2015 where Susan and I discuss what functional neurological disorders are and how they are diagnosed. I talk to a patient, Kathryn, who describes her dissociative seizures (about 16 minutes in).

Many thanks to Bridget Mildon at fndhope.org for organising recording of the video

I hope you find it helpful

Jon Stone

Neurosymptoms in other languages

I am very honoured that neurology, medical and nursing colleagues in a wide range of countries have contacted me to arrange a translation of neurosymptoms.org in to other languages. Words and meanings change in different cultures and so it was important that these sites were adapted by professionals familiar with the topic. Some of these sites are complete. Others are in development

DUTCH Translation in progress by Prof Rien Vermeulen, Neurologist, Amsterdam and Jeannette Gelauff
functionelesymptomen.moonfruit.com
Click flag to go there

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Copyright and Terms and Conditions

All material on this site is copyright of Dr Jon Stone 2009-2015 unless specifically stated otherwise. Please let me know if you want to borrow or reproduce any text from this site by emailing Jon.Stone@ed.ac.uk.

I do not collect (and do not have the facility for collecting) data from individuals who visit this site.

Like most website operators, neurosymptoms.org and its translations collects non-personally-identifying information of the sort that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request. Our purpose in collecting non-personally identifying information is to better understand how visitors use its website. From time to time, neurosymptoms.org may release non-personally-identifying information in the aggregate, e.g., by publishing a report on trends in the usage of its website as an aggregated statistic