Functional neurological disorder (FND)—also commonly referred to as conversion disorder—is a relatively new umbrella term that is used to describe “nervous system (neurological) symptoms that can’t be explained by a neurological disease or other medical condition,” says the Mayo Clinic.
FND is a relatively rare condition, affecting only about 14 to 22 people in 100,000, and occurs most commonly in adolescents and adults. As there are different types of FND, the symptoms, causes, and risk factors associated with each may be different. The following are among the most commonly identified, however, along with different ways FND can be diagnosed and treated.
1. Symptoms: Body Movement and Function
As mentioned in the introduction, the symptoms of FND can vary depending on the type a person has, but in some cases there may be patterns. One such pattern is that FND can affect the body’s ability to move and function as normal. This includes general concerns like muscle weakness and loss of balance.
More seriously, however, a person with FND may exhibit tremors in one or both arms, experience difficulty swallowing, and have episodes of unresponsiveness. They may also experience paralysis, as well as “Seizures or episodes of shaking and apparent loss of consciousness,” which the Mayo Clinic says are considered non-epileptic seizures.