Emotion regulation and neuropsychological status in functional neurological disorder variants

Emotion regulation and neuropsychological status in functional neurological disorder variants

Bonnie M. Scott, M.S.1, Adriana M. Strutt, Ph.D., ABPP-CN2, Paula Lundberg-Love, Ph.D.3, Andrew L. Schmitt, Ph.D.4, Joshua Salzman1, Stephen K. Martin, Ph.D.5, Joseph Jankovic, M.D.2, Dawn Bowers, Ph.D., ABPP-CN1

ABSTRACT

Few clinically meaningful treatment options exist for patients with functional neu- rological disorders (FND) due to limited understanding of within-group differences in cognitive and emotional factors that may differentially influence mental health outcomes. This study aimed to determine the relationship between emotion regu- lation strategies (suppression vs. reappraisal), psychological symptoms, and cogni- tive status in two FND variants: non-epileptic seizures (NES) and other functional (hyperkinetic) movement disorders (FMD). Thirty-two patients (NES = 16; FMD = 16) completed a neuropsychological battery including self-report questionnaires of emotion regulation and psychopathology. In the NES group, lower cognition was associated with more severe PTSD symptoms, greater suppression and lower posi- tive emotions. In the FMD group, lower cognition was associated with more severe PTSD symptoms and greater reappraisal. When controlling for general cognition, individuals classified as “suppressors” had more trauma events and symptoms of dissociation, greater internalizing dysfunction, and more severe emotional distress than individuals classified as “re-appraisers.” Results suggest individual differences in cognitive function and habitual behavioral tendencies such as emotion regulation may be important considerations in tailoring treatment of posttraumatic distress for FND variants. Current findings also suggest that future clinical trials considering FND variants separately may facilitate the development of symptom-specific treatment approaches.

1Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida
2Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine
3Department of Psychology and Counseling, University of Texas at Tyler
4University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler
5Martin Neurobehavioral Center, Tyler, TX

Correspondence to:
Bonnie M. Scott, M.S. University of Florida
PO Box 100165 Gainesville, FL 32610-0165 Phone: 713-724-8142
E-mail: bonnie.m.scott@phhp.ufl.edu

Palabras clave:

Functional neurological disorders; Psychogenic, Conversion; Cognition; Executive function

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