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COgnitive Behavioural Therapy for Dissociative (Non-Epileptic) Seizures

A Randomised Controlled Trial

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About 12-20% of patients who attend neurology or specialist epilepsy clinics because of seizures do not in fact have epilepsy but instead have dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures (DS). You can find out all about dissociative seizures here.


A high percentage of people with dissociative seizures will have other psychological or psychiatric problems and may have other symptoms that cant be explained by a disease.


It is generally thought that people with dissociative seizures will benefit from psychological treatments. However, studies on this have been small or have not compared the psychological therapy with the treatment people normally receive (standardised medical care).


There is some evidence that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may lead to a reduction in how often people have dissociative seizures. CBT is a widely accepted psychology therapy that focuses on the person's thoughts, emotions and behaviour, and considers the physical reactions and sensations that may occur in their body.


We have previously developed a CBT package for people with dissociative seizures. In a relatively small study, people receiving CBT overall showed greater reduction in how often they had their seizures. We are now proposing a larger study across several different hospitals, to obtain more definite results.

The CODES TRIAL - Background


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