The cause of conversion disorder is still being studied. Some doctors and researchers think it develops as a way for our brain to deal with emotional trauma or stress. However, that seems to not always be the case. An unrecognized inflammation reaction in the body and brain might play a role, but we do not know for sure. It is also known that stress and trauma can launch long-term inflammatory reactions, which by affecting brain functioning in complex ways might provoke physical symptoms. The concentration problems might be associated with the physical symptoms, but we do not know the details.
As treatments given to people with conversion disorder often do not help a lot with the symptoms, we need to find out more information about the causes of the disorder so that new treatments for people with conversion disorder can be developed.
At the moment there is some evidence that suggests people with conversion disorder have experienced high levels of stress and trauma. Whereas some people also report problems with their memory and attention.
From this study we hope to find out whether people with conversion disorder:
a) might have high levels of inflammation in their blood
b) report a lot of stressful experiences
c) show signs of long-term stress
d) show any cognitive symptoms such as problems with attention, concentration or memory.
There is currently a lack of information about these things in patients with conversion disorder and this study will help us understand more.