To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Albeit primarily a disease of respiratory tract, the 2019 coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) has been found to have causal association with a plethora of neurological, neuropsychiatric and psychological effects. This review aims to analyze them with a discussion of evolving therapeutic recommendations.
PubMed and Google Scholar were searched from 1 January 2020 to 30 May 2020 with the following key terms: “COVID-19”, “SARS-CoV-2”, “pandemic”, “neuro-COVID”, “stroke-COVID”, “epilepsy-COVID”, “COVID-encephalopathy”, “SARS-CoV-2-encephalitis”, “SARS-CoV-2-rhabdomyolysis”, “COVID-demyelinating disease”, “neurological manifestations”, “psychosocial manifestations”, “treatment recommendations”, “COVID-19 and therapeutic changes”, “psychiatry”, “marginalised”, “telemedicine”, “mental health”, “quarantine”, “infodemic” and “social media”. A few newspaper reports related to COVID-19 and psychosocial impacts have also been added as per context.
Neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations of COVID-19 are abundant. Clinical features of both central and peripheral nervous system involvement are evident. These have been categorically analyzed briefly with literature support. Most of the psychological effects are secondary to pandemic-associated regulatory, socioeconomic and psychosocial changes.
Neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations of this disease are only beginning to unravel. This demands a wide index of suspicion for prompt diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 to prevent further complications and mortality.
We examined demographic, clinical, and psychological characteristics of a large cohort (n = 368) of adults with dissociative seizures (DS) recruited to the CODES randomised controlled trial (RCT) and explored differences associated with age at onset of DS, gender, and DS semiology.
Prior to randomisation within the CODES RCT, we collected demographic and clinical data on 368 participants. We assessed psychiatric comorbidity using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) and a screening measure of personality disorder and measured anxiety, depression, psychological distress, somatic symptom burden, emotional expression, functional impact of DS, avoidance behaviour, and quality of life. We undertook comparisons based on reported age at DS onset (<40 v. ⩾40), gender (male v. female), and DS semiology (predominantly hyperkinetic v. hypokinetic).
Our cohort was predominantly female (72%) and characterised by high levels of socio-economic deprivation. Two-thirds had predominantly hyperkinetic DS. Of the total, 69% had ⩾1 comorbid M.I.N.I. diagnosis (median number = 2), with agoraphobia being the most common concurrent diagnosis. Clinical levels of distress were reported by 86% and characteristics associated with maladaptive personality traits by 60%. Moderate-to-severe functional impairment, high levels of somatic symptoms, and impaired quality of life were also reported. Women had a younger age at DS onset than men.
Our study highlights the burden of psychopathology and socio-economic deprivation in a large, heterogeneous cohort of patients with DS. The lack of clear differences based on gender, DS semiology and age at onset suggests these factors do not add substantially to the heterogeneity of the cohort.
It has been hypothesised that neuropsychiatric symptoms, including psychosis, can be the result of a milder brain bioenergetic defect produced by mitochondrial dysfunction; however, mitochondrial dysfunction can be present in other organs or systems. The aim of the study was to investigate whether clinical conditions associated with mitochondrial disorders (CAMDs) were frequently present in schizophrenia.
A previously used questionnaire regarding the CAMDs was administered to patients and controls in a direct interview with a trained psychiatrist. The frequencies of CAMDs in 164 patients with schizophrenia were compared to those in 156 age- and sex-matched controls.
Severe fatigue, seizures, constipation and diabetes were significantly more frequent in patients with schizophrenia than in control subjects and apparently not related to pharmacological treatment.
The results of the present study suggest that multi-systemic mitochondrial dysfunction may be an underlying mechanism involved in schizophrenia.
We herein report a case of new-onset epileptic seizures induced by carbamazepine in an individual with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We clinicians should bear in mind the possibility that epileptic seizures may possibly be either precipitated or exacerbated by carbamazepine especially in individuals with ASD.
Medical cannabis has recently emerged as a treatment option for children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Despite the fact that many pediatric epilepsy patients across Canada are currently being treated with cannabis, little is known about the attitudes of neurologists toward cannabinoid treatment of children with epilepsy.
A 21-item online survey was distributed via email to 148 pediatric neurologists working in hospitals and community clinics across Canada. Questions were related to clinical practice and demographics.
This survey achieved a response rate of 38% (56 Canadian neurologists). These neurologists were treating 668 pediatric epilepsy patients with cannabinoids. While 29% of neurologists did not support cannabis treatment in their patients, 34% prescribed cannabis, and 38% referred to another authorizing physician, mostly to community-based non-neurologists. The majority of neurologists considered cannabis for patients with Dravet syndrome (68%) and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (64%) after an average of three failed anticonvulsants. Twenty-seven percent considered it for patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy, and 18% for focal epilepsy. No neurologist used cannabis as a first-line treatment. All neurologists had at least one hesitation regarding cannabis treatment in pediatric epilepsy. The most common one was poor evidence (66%), followed by poor quality control (52%) and high cost (50%).
The majority of Canadian pediatric neurologists consider using cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy in children. With many gaps in evidence and high patient-driven demand for cannabis therapy, this survey provides immediate information from the “wisdom of the crowd,” to aid neurologists until further evidence is available.
Survivors of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captivity are at high risk of developing mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
This study looks at the correlation between sexual abuse, shame, somatoform or bodily distress disorders, and dissociative seizures (psychogenic non-epileptic seizures).
The psychological effects of traumatic events and dissociative seizure were assessed in Yazidi women who were held captive by ISIS in Northern Iraq between 2014 and 2018. These effects were examined comparing 64 women who were held captive and sexually abused by ISIS with 60 women suffering from PTSD who were not held captive and sexually abused by ISIS. Structured clinical-psychological interviews and established psychometric questionnaires were used to assess mental disorders especially dissociative seizures and somatoform disorders, and shame related to trauma.
Women who were held captive by ISIS showed a significantly higher prevalence of dissociative seizures (43.7%; P = 0.02) and somatisation disorder (38.7%; P = 0.02), as well as depressive (75.0%; P = 0.42) and anxiety disorders (62.5%; P = 0.44), than women who were not held captive and sexually abused by ISIS. Dissociative disorders were identified in 40.6% (P = 0.36) of those female Yazidi who experienced sexual violence while being held captive.
Shame in connection with sexual violence seems to play an important role in negative self-perception after rape. Dissociation not only plays an important role in unprocessed childhood trauma with feelings of shame, but also in more recent trauma experiences with shame.
This chapter, reviews the basics for children undergoing epilepsy surgery. The authors discuss the incidence and types of seizures as well as various modalities for seizure suppression (e.g. ketogenic diet, vagal nerve stimulation). The chapter presents the surgical approaches to epilepsy surgery, MRI mapping followed by laser ablation and electrocorticography with mapping followed by surgical excision. The anesthetic implications related to these complex patients are presented.
Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a condition at the intersection of neurology and psychiatry. Individuals with FND exhibit corticolimbic abnormalities, yet little is known about the role of white matter tracts in the pathophysiology of FND. This study characterized between-group differences in microstructural integrity, and correlated fiber bundle integrity with symptom severity, physical disability, and illness duration.
A diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study was performed in 32 patients with mixed FND compared to 36 healthy controls. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images were collected along with patient-reported symptom severity, physical disability (Short Form Health Survey-36), and illness duration data. Weighted-degree and link-level graph theory and probabilistic tractography analyses characterized fractional anisotropy (FA) values across cortico-subcortical connections. Results were corrected for multiple comparisons.
Compared to controls, FND patients showed reduced FA in the stria terminalis/fornix, medial forebrain bundle, extreme capsule, uncinate fasciculus, cingulum bundle, corpus callosum, and striatal-postcentral gyrus projections. Except for the stria terminalis/fornix, these differences remained significant adjusting for depression and anxiety. In within-group analyses, physical disability inversely correlated with stria terminalis/fornix and medial forebrain bundle FA values; illness duration negatively correlated with stria terminalis/fornix white matter integrity. A FND symptom severity composite score did not correlate with FA in patients.
In this first DTI study of mixed FND, microstructural differences were observed in limbic and associative tracts implicated in salience, defensive behaviors, and emotion regulation. These findings advance our understanding of neurocircuit pathways in the pathophysiology of FND.
Dissociative seizures (DS) are brief episodes of disrupted awareness and behavioural control that may resemble epileptic seizures. They are thought to arise in the context of impaired emotion processing and disinhibition. In a multi-perspective neuropsychological study, we aim to assess specific metacognitive traits and behavioural features involved in the affective and cognitive underpinnings of DS (emotion recognition and regulation, inhibition, interoception and sense of agency).
Twenty prospectively recruited patients with video-EEG-confirmed DS and 20 healthy controls underwent comprehensive neuropsychological and psychiatric testing using validated questionnaires and structured interviews. Behavioural experimental data was obtained using a custom-made emotional go/no-go task, a digital Libet clock setup and a heartbeat counting paradigm.
Emotion recognition, as quantified in the emotional go/no-go task, was impaired in the DS group, and correlated with alexithymic traits. Behavioural inhibition, especially under conditions that would require emotion regulation, was also reduced in the emotional go/no-go task compared to controls and was correlated with neuropsychometric measures of emotion regulation. Data from the Libet clock experiment suggested impaired behavioural awareness in DS patients. No evidence of impaired interoceptive awareness was found in the heartbeat counting task.
These results represent comprehensive experimental evidence for alterations in emotional and behavioural awareness and control in patients with DS that yield empirical evidence for current psychopathological models. Our findings offer a more detailed understanding of key pathogenic factors in DS and provide theoretical support for recently developed cognitive-behavioural therapies for DS.
The USA is the largest consumer of legally, internationally-traded wildlife. A proportion of this trade consists of species listed in the Appendices of CITES, and recorded in the CITES Trade Database. Using this resource, we quantified wildlife entering the USA for 82 of the most frequently recorded wildlife products and a range of taxonomic groups during 1979–2014. We examined trends in legal trade and seizures of illegally traded items over time, and relationships between trade and four national measures of biodiversity. We found that: (1) there is an overall positive relationship between legal imports and seizures; (2) Asia was the main region exporting CITES-listed wildlife products to the USA; (3) bears, crocodilians and other mammals (i.e. other than Ursidae, Felidae, Cetacea, Proboscidea, Primates or Rhinocerotidae) increased in both reported legal trade and seizures over time; (4) legal trade in live specimens was reported to be primarily from captive-produced, artificially-propagated or ranched sources, whereas traded meat was primarily wild sourced; (5) both seizures and legally traded items of felids and elephants decreased over time; and (6) volumes of both legally traded and seized species were correlated with four attributes of exporting countries: species endemism, species richness, number of IUCN threatened species, and country size. The goal of our analysis was to inform CITES decision-making and species conservation efforts.
Functional non-epileptic attacks (FNEA) are seizure-like events occurring in the absence of epilepsy. Having had many different names over the years including dissociative convulsions and pseudo-seizures, they now fall in the borderland between neurology and psychiatry, often not accepted by either specialty. However, there is evidence that there is a high rate of psychiatric comorbidity in these patients and therefore it is likely that psychiatrists will come across patients with FNEA and they should know the broad principles of assessment and management.
We have provided a clinically based overview of the evidence regarding epidemiology, risk factors, clinical features, differentiation from epilepsy, prognosis, assessment and treatment.
By the end of this article, readers should be able to understand the difference between epileptic seizures and FNEA, know how to manage acute FNEA, and understand the principles of neuropsychiatric assessment and management of these patients, based on knowledge of the evidence base.
Informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of Box 1.
Patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) may present with convulsive events that are not accompanied by epileptiform brain activity. Video-electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring is the gold standard for diagnosis, yet not all patients experience convulsive episodes during video-EEG sessions. Hence, we aimed to construct a predictive model in order to detect PNES from serum hormone levels, detached from an evaluation of patients’ convulsive episodes.
Fifteen female patients with PNES and 60 healthy female controls participated in the study, providing blood samples for hormone analysis. A binomial logistic regression model and the leave-one-out cross-validation were employed.
We found that levels of neuropeptide Y and adrenocorticotropic hormone were the optimal combination of predictors, with over 90% accuracy (area under the curve=0.980).
The ability to diagnose PNES irrespective of convulsive events would represent an important step considering its feasibility and affordability in daily clinical practice.