Therapeutic sedation for functional (psychogenic) neurological symptoms

Jon Stone, Ingrid Hoeritzauer, Kirsteen Brown, Alan Carson, Jon Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Patients with severe functional (psychogenic) neurological symptoms such as paralysis and fixed dystonia present a therapeutic challenge, particularly if no movement is possible during physiotherapy. Sedation has been discussed as a treatment for functional neurological symptoms for 100 years but technique, use of video and outcome has not been systematically described.

METHODS: Therapeutic sedation of patients with severe functional neurological symptoms with propofol and follow up at a neuroscience centre.

RESULTS: Of eleven patients (median duration 14 months), five were cured or had major improvement with sedation. At follow up (median 30 months) four were asymptomatic, two were significantly improved and one had minor improvements. We describe a standardized anesthetic and physician technique, refined over consecutive treatments.

CONCLUSION: In carefully chosen patients, therapeutic sedation with propofol can be a useful adjunctive treatment for patients with severe functional neurological symptoms. The treatment deserves randomized evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-8
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement Disorders
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Propofol
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic sedation for functional (psychogenic) neurological symptoms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this