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Home / FAQ / Isn't FND just a name for something when doctors don't know what it is?

Isn't FND just a name for something when doctors don't know what it is?

There is a common misconception that FND is a diagnosis that doctors make just because someone has neurological symptoms, like a weak leg, or tremor or seizures or tests are normal.

That is NOT the case. If your doctor has diagnosed it that way, then, with respect, they may be doing it wrong. FND should be diagnosed because someone has typical features of the condition, usually on physical assessment – for example Hoover’s sign or a positive Tremor Entrainment test – or typical features of a functional/dissociative seizure.

There are many neurological conditions where neurological investigations such as scans can be normal.

Heres a brief summary of ‘positive diagnosis’ in FND taken from a review article I co-wrote for the British Medical Journal with colleagues Professor Alan Carson (Neuropsychiatry) and Professor Chris Burton (GP) in November 2020.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3745/infographic