Psychogenic seizures

Historical note and nomenclature
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By John M Stern MD

Until the writings of the great European neurologists of the mid-19th century, most Western physicians considered all epileptic phenomena to be psychiatric, and patients with epilepsy were commonly committed to institutions for the insane. Following recognition of a number of ictal phenomena as reflecting neurologic disease processes and acceptance of epilepsy as an organic cerebral disorder, Charcot, in 1886, described psychogenically-induced hysterical signs and symptoms and included certain epileptic-like ictal events among them (Charcot 1886). The classical hysterical seizures illustrated in Charcot's writings are still regularly encountered today.