Live Chat ×
Skip to main content

Early Diagnosis of Non-epileptic Seizures - Ask the Expert Webinar Recording

This item is expired.

Provided by the American Epilepsy Society
Release Date: 8/19/16
Expiration Date: 8/19/19
Original Recording Date: August 16, 2016


Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) are characterized by paroxysmal episodes resembling epileptic seizures yet lacking electrical correlation as measured by the gold-standard diagnostic approach in the United States, videoelectroencephalography (vEEG). Delay in the diagnosis of PNES is between 7 and 10 years of treatment for epilepsy. Additionally, there is a high cost to this delay in diagnosis.

The International League Against Epilepsy Non-epileptic Seizures Task Force consisted of international consensus group of clinician-researchers in epilepsy, neurology, neuropsychology, and neuropsychiatry collaborated with the goal of developing standards for the diagnosis of PNES. The task force report delineates a staged approach to PNES diagnosis and also assessed key diagnostic approaches which included: history, EEG, ambulatory EEG, vEEG/monitoring, neurophysiologic, neurohumoral, neuroimaging, neuropsychological testing, hypnosis, and conversation analysis. Diagnostic levels were developed: possible, probable, clinically established, and documented diagnosis, based on the availability of history, witnessed event, and investigations, including vEEG.
The AES NES Task Force prepared a PNES information sheet for use by clinicians. The PNES Clinician Information Sheet is posted alongside the AES practice management tools.

Target Audience

Epileptologists, neurologists, professionals in epilepsy care, nurse practitioners, general physicians, emergency room physicians and other interested healthcare professionals

Learning Objectives

Following participation in the activity, the learner should be able to:
  • Delineate the risk factors for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) in adults and in youths.
  • Review and discuss the International League Against Epilepsy Task Force Report on PNES.
  • Discuss referral considerations for patients with PNES.
  • Locate the AES Clinician Information Sheet on PNES on the AES website.


The American Epilepsy Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation

The American Epilepsy Society designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
International Credits: The American Medical Association has determined that non-US. licensed physicians who participate in this CME activity are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
Physician Assistants: AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 0.5 hours of Category 1 credit for completing this program.

Instructions for Participation to Earn CME Credit

  • Read the needs statement, target audience, learning objectives, and planner/faculty disclosures.
  • View/read the educational content online or printed out.
  • Complete the evaluation.

Faculty, Planning Committee, Reviewers’ Disclosures of Financial Relationships

In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support, the AES requires that any person who is in a position to control content of a CME activity must disclose all relevant financial relationships that they have with a commercial interest. The following individuals contributed to this activity’s content.

Dennis Dlugos, MD, Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Dlugos has indicated he has no financial relationships to disclose relevant to this activity.
Selim Benbadis, MD, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Dr. Benbadis has indicated he has no financial relationships to disclose relevant to this activity.
Sigita Plioplys, MD, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Dr. Plioplys has indicated she has no financial relationships to disclose relevant to this activity.

AES Staff
AES Staff involved in this activity have indicated they have no financial relationships to disclose relevant to this activity.

CME Reviewer
Ignacio Valencia, MD, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Valencia has indicated he has no financial relationships to disclose relevant to this activity.

Resolution of Conflicts of Interest

It is the policy of the American Epilepsy Society to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor. All persons involved in the selection, development and presentation of content are required to disclose any real or apparent conflicts of interest. In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support of CME, the AES implemented the mechanisms of prospective peer review of this CME activity, to identify and resolve any conflicts. Additionally, the content of this activity is based on the best available evidence.

Unapproved Use Disclosure

The American Epilepsy Society requires CME authors to disclose to learners when products or procedures being discussed are off-label, unlabeled, experimental, and/or investigational (not FDA approved); and any limitations on the information that is presented, such as data that are preliminary or that represent ongoing research, interim analyses, and/or unsupported opinion. This information is intended solely for continuing medical education and is not intended to promote off-label use of these medications. If you have questions, contact the medical affairs department of the manufacturer for the most recent prescribing information. Information about pharmaceutical agents/devices that is outside of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved labeling may be contained in this activity.

Contact Information

For further information on this activity contact the American Epilepsy Society at or call 312.883.3800.

Privacy and Confidentiality

The American Epilepsy Society respects the privacy and confidentiality of users of this CME activity. You may access the privacy statement for this activity here .

Policy on Commercial Support and Conflict of Interest

As an ACCME-accredited provider the American Epilepsy Society must ensure 100% compliance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities. The American Epilepsy Society has implemented mechanisms, prior to the planning and implementation of this CME activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of this CME activity

Disclosure of Unlabeled/Unapproved Uses

This educational activity may include references to the use of products for indications not approved by the FDA. Faculty have agreed to disclose intent to discuss any off-label, experimental, or investigational use of drugs, devices, or equipment or devices in their presentations. Furthermore, faculty have attested that all the recommendations involving clinical medicine they make in this activity will be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients; and, all scientific research referred to, reported, or used in their presentation in support or justification of a patient care recommendation will conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection and analysis. Faculty opinions expressed with regard to unapproved, investigational or experimental uses of products are solely those of the faculty and are not endorsed by the American Epilepsy Society.


This CME activity is for educational purposes only and does not constitute the opinion or endorsement of, or promotion by, the American Epilepsy Society. Reasonable efforts have been taken to present educational subject matter in a balanced, unbiased fashion, and in compliance with regulatory requirements. However, each activity participant must always use his or her own personal and professional judgment when considering further application of this information, particularly as it may relate to patient diagnostic or treatment decisions including, without limitation, FDA-approved uses and any off-label, investigational and/or experimental uses.