A functional neurological disorder (FND) is a condition in which patients experience neurological symptoms such as weakness, movement disorders, sensory symptoms and blackouts.

NORD says FND, “Functional neurological disorder is a medical condition in which there is a problem with the functioning of the nervous system and how the brain and body sends and/or receives signals, rather than a structural disease process such as multiple sclerosis or stroke. FND can encompass a wide variety of neurological symptoms, such as limb weakness or seizures.

Signs & Symptoms (by NORD)

FND patients can experience a wide range and combination of symptoms that are physical, sensory and/or cognitive. The most common include:

Motor dysfunction
– Functional limb weakness/paralysis
– Functional movement disorders; including tremor, spasms (dystonia), jerky movements (myoclonus) and problems walking (gait disorder)
– Functional speech symptoms; including whispering speech (dysphonia), slurred or stuttering speech

Sensory dysfunction
– Functional sensory disturbance includes altered sensation; e.g. numbness, tingling or pain in the face, torso or limbs. This often occurs on one side of the body
– Functional visual symptoms; including loss of vision or double vision

Episodes of altered awareness
– Dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures, blackouts and faints: these symptoms can overlap and can look like epileptic seizures or faints (syncope)

Symptoms often fluctuate and may vary from day to day or be present all the time. Some patients with FND may experience substantial or even complete remission followed by sudden relapses of symptoms.

Other physical and psychological symptoms are commonly experienced by patients with FND but may not be present. These include: chronic pains, fatigue, sleep problems, memory symptoms, bowel and bladder symptoms, anxiety and depression.