September 25, 2023

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is quite the chameleon, as it can manifest in many different ways among different individuals. That’s part of what makes it so tricky to understand and diagnose. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  1. Motor Symptoms: These include problems with movement and function, such as weakness or paralysis, tremors, spasms, and issues with gait or balance. For instance, someone might find that their leg suddenly gives way when they try to stand, or they might have a tremor in their hand that makes it hard to hold a cup of coffee.
  2. Sensory Symptoms: Some people with FND may experience changes in sensation, such as numbness or tingling, or they may have unusual sensory symptoms like feeling as though their limbs are detached or don’t belong to them.
  3. Functional Seizures: These can look very much like epileptic seizures, but they’re not caused by the electrical disruptions in the brain that characterize epilepsy. During a functional seizure, a person might lose consciousness, fall, jerk or twitch, or become unresponsive.
  4. Speech and Swallowing Problems: Some people may have difficulty speaking, such as slurred speech or even temporary loss of speech. Others might have trouble swallowing.
  5. Cognitive Symptoms: These can include problems with memory, concentration, or attention.
  6. Fatigue and Pain: Many people with FND experience chronic fatigue and/or pain that doesn’t have a clear physical cause.

The intensity and combination of these symptoms can vary widely from one person to another, and they can come and go, with periods of relief followed by flare-ups. Despite this variety, all these symptoms are real and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.