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AAN 2024 | Making an accurate diagnosis of FND

William Curt LaFrance Jr, MD, MPH, FAAN, FANPA, DFAPA, Brown University, Providence, RI, comments on the diagnosis of functional neurological disorder (FND). Historically, FND has been diagnosed by exclusion. However, with the changes made to the diagnostic criteria in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses (DSM-5), clinicians can now make a definitive diagnosis of FND using signs on a patient’s examination that are inconsistent with known neuroanatomical and neurophysiological conditions. Accurate diagnosis is essential, as this informs the selection of an appropriate treatment approach for the patient, and Prof. LaFrance Jr emphasizes that the patient’s history, the examination performed, and relevant diagnostic lab results should all be considered when making a diagnosis. Prof. LaFrance Jr also highlights that comorbidities are commonly seen in patients and that clinicians should look out for co-occurring depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and personality disorders. This interview took place at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting 2024 in Denver, CO.

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