Conversion disorder, also known as functional neurological disorder, is a condition that causes physical symptoms that seem neurological but doctors can’t find an injury or physical condition to explain them. For example, it can present itself as unexplained paralysis, inability to talk or walk, or sudden unexplained blindness. It affects about 764,000 people in the UK annually and leads to long-term distress and disability. So far, its origin is unknown. Because the origin is unknown, and people with conversion disorder often suffer from concentration problems that hinder them in following treatment, treatment may have limited effects.
This study aims to understand more about the causes of conversion disorder so that new treatments can be developed in the future. This study was the first step in a series of steps currently being undertaken by a research team at the University of York in collaboration with a number of sites across the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Humberside NHS Foundation Trust. See the Registration details.
We recruited 15 patients with functional neurological disorders that tookpart in this study. We hope the findings of this study will help us design a larger study in which we can test new treatments for the condition.