Brain tumors associated with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: Case series

Catherine R. Garcia, Gulam Q. Khan, Amy M. Morrow, Priyanka Yadav, Donita D. Lightner, Frank G. Gilliam, John L. Villano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective The association of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) with primary or secondary brain tumors has not been well described in the literature. We aim to discuss their association, and their impact in brain tumor treatment. Patients and methods We identified four patients retrospectively from our practice. The diagnosis of PNES was based on clinical suspicion and standard EEG, supplemented with video-EEG recording in 2 patients. Results The initial diagnosis of brain tumor was associated with a new onset seizure prior to diagnosis. The majority of the patients presented with ES followed by recurrent PNES during the course of their disease. Patients were treated with multiple anti-epileptic drugs, requiring frequent schedule adjustments. The preferred tumor treatment modality was chemotherapy, followed by surgical resection. The patients were offered psychological consultation achieving partial control of their events. These patients manifested recurrent disabling clinical events that required multiple medical consultations. None of these patients presented clinical evidence of tumor progression at the time of PNES presentation. Conclusion A high index of suspicion and early psychological consultation referral will likely mitigate the quality of life impact of PNES in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Brain neoplasm
  • Outcomes
  • Pseudoseizures
  • Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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