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Neurophysiological investigations for the diagnosis of non-epileptic attack disorder in neuropsychiatry services: from safety standards to improved effectiveness

  • Andrea E. Cavanna (a1) (a2) (a3) and Stefano Seri (a1) (a4)



The discipline of clinical neuropsychiatry currently provides specialised services for a number of conditions that cross the traditional boundaries of neurology and psychiatry, including non-epileptic attack disorder. Neurophysiological investigations have an important role within neuropsychiatry services, with video-electroencephalography (EEG) telemetry being the gold standard investigation for the differential diagnosis between epileptic seizures and non-epileptic attacks. This article reviews existing evidence on best practices for neurophysiology investigations, with focus on safety measures for video-EEG telemetry.


We conducted a systematic literature review using the PubMed database in order to identify the scientific literature on the best practices when using neurophysiological investigations in patients with suspected epileptic seizures or non-epileptic attacks.


Specific measures need to be implemented for video-EEG telemetry to be safely and effectively carried out by neuropsychiatry services. A confirmed diagnosis of non-epileptic attack disorder following video-EEG telemetry carried out within neuropsychiatry units has the inherent advantage of allowing diagnosis communication and implementation of treatment strategies in a timely fashion, potentially improving clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness significantly.


The identified recommendations set the stage for the development of standardised guidelines to enable neuropsychiatry services to implement streamlined and evidence-based care pathways.


Corresponding author

Prof. Andrea E. Cavanna, Department of Neuropsychiatry, National Centre for Mental Health, 25 Vincent Drive, Birmingham B15 2FG, UK. Tel: +44 121 3012280; Fax: +44 121 3012291; E-mail:


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Neurophysiological investigations for the diagnosis of non-epileptic attack disorder in neuropsychiatry services: from safety standards to improved effectiveness

  • Andrea E. Cavanna (a1) (a2) (a3) and Stefano Seri (a1) (a4)


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