Visit previous version of website http://old.neurosymptoms.org
FND Links Feedback Donate Language
  • English (UK)
Home / Causes / Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis

Is the diagnosis wrong?

Patients with functional/dissociative symptoms are often concerned that their diagnosis may be wrong. Especially since there is no ‘scan’ or blood test that can make the diagnosis.

There are many neurological problems. The commonest ones are

• Stroke
• Epilepsy
• Migraine / Headache
• Functional / Dissociative Symptoms
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Brain Tumour
• Parkinsons Disease
• Myasthenia Gravis
• Motor Neuron Disease (also called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
• Peripheral Neuropathy
• Nerve Root or Spinal Cord entrapment
• B12 deficiency and Thyroid disorders
• Many hundreds of others…..

On the other hand there are also only a limited number of neurological symptoms. The commonest ones are:

• Headache
• Weakness
• Sensory Symptoms
• Blackouts
• Memory / Cognitive symptoms
• Speech / Swallowing Symptoms
• Dizziness
• Visual Symptoms – reduced vision, double vision
• Neck, Back and Limb pain
• Tremors, jerks, spasms and contractures
• Bladder symptoms

In fact there are such a limited number of neurological symptoms you can see that its quite understandable for someone with more than one neurological symptom to start to wonder if they have one of the common (or uncommon) neurological diseases.

This website does not attempt to explain how a neurologist diagnoses all of these diseases. But this list emphasises that neurologists are very familiar with the conditions that you, your family or friends may have been concerned about as well as all the symptoms that you have.

You may be surprised to see FND so high up the list because few people have heard of them. In fact around 15% of all patients seen in UK neurology clinics as new patient have symptoms that are diagnosed as functional or dissociative. Around 5% of all new outpatients have symptoms of weakness, blackouts or numbness that are related to FND

If your neurologist has decided that you have FND it should be for a good reason. There should be positive signs that the problems is functional, it should not just be because the scan is normal or the tests are normal. See positive signs of functional weakness, functional sensory disturbance and dissociative seizures.

In the same way that neurologists diagnose Parkinson’s disease, Migraine and Epilepsy at the bedside with a detailed history and examination (and without any tests), so too can FND be accurately diagnosed.

Can you have FND and another neurological condition?

Yes, this happens quite a lot. Heres a video…

Things can become tricky when a patient has an underlying neurological disease (like multiple sclerosis) and they also have clear evidence of functional symptoms (like FND related limb weakness). In some people, having a neurological disease can actually trigger the development of functional symptoms and something that a neurologist should always think about. This is often why investigations are performed even when clinically the diagnosis seems clear. Some people can have two diagnoses – one of a neurological disease and another of superimposed functional symptoms. For example, about 10-15% of people with dissociative seizures also have epilepsy (but 90% still do not).

You can read an article I wrote with colleagues about pitfalls in misdiagnosis of functional symptoms and neurological disease below.

Click the image for an article written for neurologists about the pitfalls of diagnosis of FND and related conditions

Reassuringly however, studies that have looked at how often neurologists get the diagnosis wrong have tended to agree (at least in the last 30 years) that the proportion of patients in whom the diagnosis turns out to be incorrect later on is about 5%. The graph below is based on 27 studies and nearly 1500 patients followed up for an average of 5 years. It shows how the diagnosis has become more accurate over the years.

This study collected together all the previous studies looking at how often doctors got the diagnosis of functional neurological symptoms wrong. Rates of misdiagnosis have been around 5% since 1970. This is the error rate for all neurological conditions. (Stone et al BMJ. 2005; 331: 989;

A misdiagnosis rate of 5% may seem a lot but perhaps surprisingly its less than the numbers of patients misdiagnosed with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and similar to the proportion wrongly told they have motor neurone disease.

The evidence suggests that misdiagnosis of a neurological disease when the problem is actually functional / dissociative symptoms is just as common as the other way round.

In conclusion…

Any doctor, usually a neurologist, that makes the diagnosis of FND should be very familiar both with the possible neurological diagnoses that those symptoms could represent and also with the positive clinical features of functional symptoms. Even then, they will sometimes get it wrong, but no more often than for other neurological diagnoses.

diabetes medications available in the us what medications can give you diabetes side effects and costs of medications used in diabetes new medications diabetes 2021 type 1 diabetes medications glybizide incretin drugs for diabetes free diabetes medications at harris teeter medications for type i diabetes what diabetes medications are free at shoprite diabetes medications mode of action medications like prandin 1 mg diabetes diabetic oral medicine medications besides metformin for diabetes type 2 diabetes medications and side effects how to eat cinnamon to lower blood sugar diabetes medication wiki algorithm diabetes medication what foods lower blood sugar level diabetes meds not working do some medications cause type 2 diabetes drugs to treat diabetes type 2 diabetes medications

cbd gummies san diego cbd gummies henderson 60mg cbd gummies kushy punch best over the counter cbd gummies cbd gummies valhalla can you fail a drug test for cbd oil strawberry fields cbd gummies 1000mg does cbd cream work for pain just cbd gummies near me flurish cbd gummies review when do cbd gummies start working just cbd gummies groupon show me the highest quality cbd oil gummies cbd gummies in the pouch cbd oil for sex bear cbd gummies is cbd ok for pregnant women cbd bear riding shark gummies cbd cream for plantar fasciitis cbd gummies dayton ohio cbd benefits for hair cbd for ibs

pro elite diet pills reviews does zzzquil affect diet pills top rated diet pills gnc diet pills while nursing a toddler cortisol diet pills review diet pills belviq how to lose weight fast in a month or less what are the ingredients in remra diet pills weight loss pills rite aid best perscription diet pills weight loss fast purefit keto weight loss pills reviews bipolar weight loss medication sarah weight loss pills nutra pharmex keto pills reviews south korean diet pills do pain pills make you lose weight the original prescription diet pills were weight loss pills with testosterone all natural dog supplement diet pills dp diet pills work pills that help you lose belly fat what does weight loss pills do

best selling male enhancement pills 100 percent natural male enhancement pills golden lion male enhancement pills pills to give erection ebbay hard ten day male enhancement pills enlargement pill reddit boner pills natural testosterone pills rhyno erection pills male enhancement pills erectzan penis enlargement tablet best pills for sex performance penis enlargement pill cheap ed save brand pills penis enlargement pills in michigan walgreens pills for erection man pills buy ed pills united states do big dick pills work sex pills porstars use 2021 smoke shop sex pills number of people taking sex pills

african american high blood pressure medication blood pressure medicine lisinopril hctz how much is blood pressure medication insurance medicine high blood pressure list melatonin and high blood pressure medicine ways to instantly lower your blood pressure pressure point to lower blood pressure acupressure points to lower blood pressure what fruits and vegetables lower blood pressure hbp medication ways to lower blood pressure during pregnancy do cashews lower blood pressure will metformin lower blood pressure side effects of blood pressure meds can laying on your left side lower blood pressure what vitamins to take to lower blood pressure can beets lower your blood pressure antihypertensive for diabetics instantly lower high blood pressure accidentally took 2 blood pressure pills blood pressure tablets names blood pressure meter name