We need a functioning name for PNES: Consider dissociative seizures
and multiple stakeholders have expressed strong opinions [
], yet uncertainty about the more appropriate terms continues [
]. Recently, a commentary criticized the International League Against Epilepsy’s (ILAE)
currently preferred term, “psychogenic nonepileptic seizures” (PNES) [
]. Moreover, the field at large is migrating away from PNES and towards the terms
“functional seizures” (FS) and “dissociative seizures” (DS) [
]. In this journal, Asadi-Pooya and colleagues advocated for FS [
], whereas our review of the same data leads to DS. While there is evidence against
PNES and the older pejorative terms, there are inadequate data comparing DS with FS.
This editorial clarifies the competing viewpoints on each of the potential terms and
suggests that clinicians can tailor the terminology based on their understanding of
the patient and the need to maintain and maximize the therapeutic relationship.