This study examined the psychiatric and neuropsychological profiles of people with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES).
Twenty-people who had been diagnosed with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), but not epilepsy, were recruited into this study. A healthy control group was also recruited and was matched for age and gender. All participants underwent structured psychiatric assessment and psychometric assessment. Neuropsychological assessment was carried out using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Battery (CANTAB) after participants passed the Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT) of effort.
One patient failed the MSVT and was excluded from the analysis. Therefore, data from 19 people with PNES and their matched healthy controls were analyzed. Compared with controls, people with PNES had significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, dissociative experiences, and alexithymic traits. In addition, people with PNES had impairments in spatial working memory and attention when compared with healthy controls.
To our knowledge, this is the first study to report that, compared with controls, people with PNES have abnormal cognitive functioning after controlling for effects of effort and FSIQ. People with PNES also have high levels of anxiety, depressive, and dissociative symptoms. In addition, they appear to particularly focus on health problems and show evidence of chronic emotional dysregulation. Further studies are required to replicate our results and to help clarify the pathogenic mechanisms underlying PNES.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).