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Brain Dysfunction With Hysteria

Brain scans have discovered evidence of cerebral dysfunction in women with sensory conversion disorder, better known as hysteria. The novel finding promises to expand the understanding of hysteria, an unexplained neurological disorder in which a patient complains of symptoms, but doctors can’t find anything medically wrong with them.

The study is published in Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Brain Dysfunction With Hysteria  The study involved three women with sensory conversion disorder who complained of numbness in their left hand or foot. Researchers used an MRI to study how the brains of these three women respond to stimulation of their numb body parts.

In all three cases, the study found stimulation of the numb hand or foot failed to activate the side of the brain which responds to touch. However, that part of the brain did respond when researchers stimulated both the numb body part and the other normal feeling hand or foot.

“The principal finding is that stimulation of the numb body part did not activate the somatosensory region of the brain, while stimulating both limbs did,” said the study’s author Omar Ghaffar, MD, MSc, with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “To our knowledge, this represents a novel result that may help explain the differing results in the few studied articles devoted to this topic.”

Ghaffar says one possible explanation for why this happens could be that bilateral stimulation acts as a distraction, shifting the patient’s attention, and thereby overcoming the inhibition.

“Future studies plan to build on these findings by scanning more subjects and healthy controls,” said Ghaffar. “In addition, a study examining the role of distraction in conversion disorder is underway

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Brain Dysfunction With Hysteria

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Brain Dysfunction With Hysteria. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/12/14/brain-dysfunction-with-hysteria/477.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.