Medically unexplained symptoms

A small number of patients will present with symptoms that may resemble but are not caused by changes in the brain (organic factors). These are often described as non-epileptic seizures when they resemble an epileptic attack but can also present as a ‘funny turn’ or unusual motor and sensory symptoms that cannot be medically explained.

 

In addition some patients report a change in their memory and concentration or speech even though physical investigations have been normal. Patients presenting with medically unexplained symptoms will have an assessment with a clinical psychologist and may undergo a memory assessment if reporting memory difficulties.

 

Most patients presenting with such symptoms will initially be investigated by a Neurologist and may undergo neurological investigations that could including an EEG or ECG , nerve conductions studies or in some circumstances patients may be asked to undertake an ambulatory EEG.

 

As part of this assessment the Neurologist may requires that the patient be assessed by a Neuropsychologist. This will often mean undergoing a detailed interview and in some cases a formal neuropsychological assessment. The psychologist will focus on trying to understand why a person is experiencing these symptoms, how they have development and why they are being maintained, from a psychological perspective.

 

The results of the psychological and/or neuropsychological assessment will be discussed with the patient and advice and further recommendations will be discussed.