NeuroRehabilitation. 2023 Aug 18. doi: 10.3233/NRE-237002. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Functional neurological disorder (FND) may commonly co-occur with persistent symptoms following a psychological trauma or physical injury such as concussion.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the occurrence of FND in a population with persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS) and the associations between FND and depression as well as anxiety in participants with PPCS.
METHODS: Sixty-three individuals with PPCS presenting to a specialized brain injury clinic completed the following questionnaires: screening for somatoform disorder conversion disorder subscale (SOM-CD), Rivermead post-concussion symptom questionnaire (RPQ), patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and generalized anxiety disorder questionnaire- 7 (GAD-7). Both multiple linear regression and logistic regression were conducted to evaluate the relationship between questionnaires and adjust for covariates.
RESULTS: We found that total RPQ score (βˆ= 0.27; 95% CI = [0.16, 0.38]), GAD-7 score (βˆ= 0.71; 95% CI = [0.50, 0.92]) and PHQ-9 score (βˆ= 0.54; 95% CI = [0.32, 0.76]) were positively associated with SOM-CD score individually, after consideration of other covariates. Participants meeting the criteria for severe FND symptoms were 4.87 times more likely to have high PPCS symptom burden (95% CI = [1.57, 22.84]), 8.95 times more likely to have severe anxiety (95% CI = [3.31, 35.03]) and 4.11 times more likely to have severe depression symptom burden (95% CI = [1.77, 11.53]).
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study indicate an association between FND and post-concussion symptoms as well as an association between FND and symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with PPCS. Patients with PPCS should be screened for FND to provide a more targeted treatment approach that includes somatic-focused interventions.