helpline 01494 601 400

Data shows blood-test can distinguish between epileptic and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures

A recent study shows a bio-marker based blood test can accurately distinguish epilepsy seizures from psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES).

The study was from Cognizance Biomarkers, a subsidiary of Evogen Inc., a leader in genomics based-testing for improved diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. The preliminary evidence was presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES).

PNES are common and account for around 20% or more of patients seeking treatment for epilepsy. They are hard to distinguish from epileptic seizures and are related to psychological factors rather than electrical disturbances in the brain.

The blood test is simple to administer and aims to accurately diagnose epilepsy seizures based on the patented methods for biomarker assessment, leveraging recent research showing the neuro-inflammation is associated with epilepsy and is both a cause and consequence of seizures. Previous clinical studies have confirmed the ability of the biomarker test to distinguish actual seizures from seizure-like events.

Since epilepsy is difficult to diagnose, individuals with PNES are often assumed to have epilepsy and receive unnecessary testing and treatment, including powerful anti-epileptic drugs.  One study found that wrongly diagnosed psychogenic patients received unnecessary treatment for an average of seven to 10 years.

Dr Peter Crino, Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said: "Many individuals are being treated for epilepsy who do not actually have this disorder. Individuals with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures are especially at risk for an epilepsy misdiagnosis".

In the study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania analysed blood samples from confirmed epilepsy patients and individuals with PNES. The analyses selected four protein biomarkers that were highly predictive in distinguishing epilepsy from PNES.

Todd Wallach, President and Chief Executive Officer of Evogen/Cognizance Biomarkers, said: "These new data further confirm that our biomarker-based blood test has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis of epilepsy. The results we are presenting today address one of the most vexing diagnostic issues in epilepsy—differentiating epileptic seizures from similar-seeming psychogenic nonepileptic events."

To read more about the study, please click here: At AES 2018 Cognizance Biomarkers Unveils Data Showing It Can Accurately Distinguish between Epileptic and Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures

More information

If would like more information on psychogenic seizures, please click here: Non-epileptic seizures