White matter diffusion abnormalities in patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures

Academic Article


  • The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary investigation of the white matter characteristics in patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) data were collected at 3 T in 16 patients with PNES and 16 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC). All patients with PNES had their diagnosis confirmed via video/EEG monitoring; HCs had no comorbid neurological or psychiatric conditions. DTI indices including fractional anisotropy (FA), and mean diffusivity (MD) were calculated and compared between patients with PNES and HCs using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS). Significantly higher FA values were observed in patients with PNES in the left corona radiata, left internal and external capsules, left superior temporal gyrus, as well as left uncinate fasciculus (UF) (P<0.05; corrected for multiple comparisons). There was no significant change in other indices between patients with PNES and HCs. These findings suggest that patients with PNES have significantly altered white matter structural connectivity when compared to age- and sex-matched HCs. These abnormalities are present in left hemispheric regions associated with emotion regulation and motor pathways. While the relationship between the pathophysiology of PNES and these abnormalities is not entirely clear, this work provides an initial basis to guide future prospective studies.
  • Published In

  • Brain Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25904751
  • Author List

  • Lee S; Allendorfer JB; Gaston TE; Griffis JC; Hernando KA; Knowlton RC; Szaflarski JP; Ver Hoef LW
  • Start Page

  • 169
  • End Page

  • 176
  • Volume

  • 1620