Background Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) are often seen as indicators of poor motor and sensory function caused by psychological responses to stressful experiences. A seizure might trigger these reactions. The aim of our study was to assess the structural changes in brain MRI associated with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. Methodology A retrospective analytical cross-sectional study at the Department of Medicine and Neurology, Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad, was conducted from October 2020 to September 2021. The medical records of patients with confirmed PNES were collected and retrospectively evaluated. Results Medical records and MRI scans were accessible for 52 patients with PNES; 10 patients were excluded from the study. The average age of the patients (standard deviation) was 34 (±9) years, and the average age at onset was 31.6 (±5.8) years. Based on the video-EEG recordings, 57.1% of patients (n=24) were classified as having broadly generalized motor seizures, 40% of patients (n=17) were classified as having predominantly akinetic seizures defined primarily by blank spells, and only one patient was classified as having focal motor seizures. Only three patients (7%) had a positive epilepsy family history. Twenty-four (47.6%) patients with brain MRI scans reported abnormal findings, while 22 (52.4%) had normal MRI findings. The majority of patients with abnormal MRIs had nonspecific white matter changes (50%), mesial temporal sclerosis (15%), and cysts (15%). In a statistical analysis, age at the beginning of PNES (p = 0.04), duration of PNES (p=0.01), concomitant epilepsy (p = 0.05), generalized motor seizures (p= 0.03), and focal motor seizures (p= 0.02) were strongly associated with abnormal brain MRI findings. Conclusion Research reveals that persons with PNES have a higher-than-average prevalence of anatomical brain abnormalities. The main takeaway is that these findings lend credence to the growing body of data suggesting that PNES may not be a medical mystery but rather a disorder with physical foundations in the brain. Important implications for diagnosing and treating PNES patients are discussed, as are the outcomes of earlier neuroimaging investigations of PNES. Studying the involvement of structural brain anomalies in the etiology of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures requires further well-designed multicenter studies with larger sample sizes and a consistent imaging approach (PNES). It is crucial to consider any confounding variables, such as co-occurring mental diseases, while designing this study.
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