Epilepsy & Seizure
Online ISSN : 1882-5567
ISSN-L : 1882-5567
Original Article
Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures in Japan: Trends in prevalence, delay in diagnosis, and frequency of hospital visits
Shinako InaidaKousuke KanemotoShiro TanakaYoko GoujiTomohiro OshimaRiki MatsumotoAkio IkedaKoji Kawakami
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2018 Volume 10 Issue 1 Pages 73-86


Purpose: Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) are psychogenic disorders that often resemble epileptic seizures. Herein, we describe the recent clinical trends of PNES by using the data from a large, claims-based Japanese database obtained from the Japan Medical Data Center.

Methods: A 10-year epidemiological study of patients of all ages with newly diagnosed PNES was conducted. Data were extracted using the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10) diagnostic codes. Prevalence in new epilepsy patients and period of the diagnostic delay of PNES after epilepsy diagnosis were retrieved from the data. The study endpoint was change in frequency of hospital visits. Data of 413 patients with PNES were retrieved using the criterion of “PNES diagnosis after epilepsy diagnosis.”

Results: The highest PNES prevalence in new epilepsy patients was observed in the 40-49 year age group (4.3%) for males, and in the 30-39 age group (4.9%) for females. The ratio of the prevalence in males to that in females was 1:2 for 0-9, 10-19, and >60 age groups, and 1:1 for the other age groups. A significant and positive correlation was found between the frequency of hospital visits and duration of the diagnostic delay of PNES. After PNES diagnosis, the average number of monthly hospital visits decreased over time.

Discussion: The differences in the duration of diagnostic delay of PNES among cases and also a decrease in the frequency of hospital visits after PNES diagnosis highlight the importance of early differentiation between epilepsy and PNES.

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© 2018 The Japan Epilepsy Society
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