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Vulnerability to psychogenic non-epileptic seizures is linked to low neuropeptide Y levels.

Authors
  • Winterdahl, Michael1
  • Miani, Alessandro1
  • Vercoe, Moana J H2
  • Ciovica, Antonia3
  • Uber-Zak, Lori4
  • Rask, Charlotte Ulrikka5, 6
  • Zak, Paul J2
  • 1 a Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET Center , Aarhus University , Aarhus , Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 2 b Center for Neuroeconomics Studies , Claremont Graduate University , Claremont , CA , USA.
  • 3 c Department of Psychiatry , Loma Linda University School of Medicine , Loma Linda , CA , USA.
  • 4 d Department of Neurology , Loma Linda University Medical Center , Loma Linda , CA , USA.
  • 5 e Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics , Aarhus University Hospital , Aarhus , Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 6 f Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Center , Aarhus University Hospital , Aarhus , Denmark. , (Denmark)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2017
Volume
20
Issue
6
Pages
589–597
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/10253890.2017.1378638
PMID: 28927333
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) is a conversion disorder that reflects underlying psychological distress. Female patients with PNES often present with a history of prolonged stressors, especially sexual abuse. In the current study, we studied the relationship between neuropeptide Y (NPY) and PNES symptoms in women with a history of sexual abuse. NPY has been associated with resilience to stress and we hypothesized that low levels would increase the extent and severity of PNES symptoms in this patient population. Serum levels of NPY, and related hormones were measured in fifteen female PNES patients and sixty female controls. PNES patients reported more severe abuse histories, feeling of abandonment, and decreased perception of quality of life than controls. Importantly, they also had lower NPY levels. Our analysis indicates that low levels of NPY in PNES may confer greater vulnerability to exhibit seizure-like symptoms and lower quality of life.

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