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Conversion disorder in adults: Terminology, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis

Jon Stone, FRCP, PhD
Michael Sharpe, MD
Section Editor
Joel Dimsdale, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Conversion disorder (functional neurologic symptom disorder) is characterized by neurologic symptoms (eg, weakness, abnormal movements, or nonepileptic seizures) that are inconsistent with a neurologic disease, but nevertheless are genuine, cause distress and/or psychosocial impairment [1]. The disorder is common in clinical settings and often has a poor prognosis [2-5].  

This topic reviews the terminology, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis of conversion disorder. The epidemiology, pathogenesis, prognosis, clinical features, assessment, and treatment are discussed separately, as are specific subtypes of conversion disorder (psychogenic nonepileptic seizures and psychogenic movement disorders):

(See "Conversion disorder in adults: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and prognosis".)

(See "Conversion disorder in adults: Clinical features, assessment, and comorbidity".)

(See "Conversion disorder in adults: Treatment".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 11, 2017.
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