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Functional Neurological Disorder Program

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is used to describe neurologic symptoms incompatible with an established medical illness. Many terms have been used to describe FND, from hysteria to conversion disorder. As knowledge of this condition has increased, it is now understood that FND stems from biological, environmental and psychological vulnerabilities. The Stanford Functional Neurological Disorder program treats patients suffering from FND with a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach.

For patients under the age of 18, please visit the Pediatric Functional Neurological Disorder Clinic page.

Specialty-trained Program Staff

  • Clinical neuropsychologists
  • Neuropsychiatrists
  • Neurologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • rTMS interventional psychiatrists
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational vocational therapists
  • Rehabilitative professional services
  • Pain specialists

Who May Benefit?

  • Patients with neurologic symptoms incompatible with established medical illness
  • Patients who need to establish mental health care
  • FND patients who have health care but whose symptoms have not improved
  • Patients with multiple co-morbid psychiatric illnesses that need treatment
  • There is no longer a requirement for clinicians to identify psychological factors or establish that the patient is not feigning illness

Treatments Include

  • Psychoeducation
  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavioral interventions
  • Hypnosis
  • Medication
  • TMS
  • Physical therapy
  • Virtual reality

Stanford FND Outpatient Services

Our Stanford FND consultation clinic provides clinical evaluation and results in an individualized treatment plan. We also offer weekly therapy groups designed specifically for clients with FND. Other specialized services include individual psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, virtual reality therapy, rTMS and psychopharmacological management delivered on-site.

La Selva Residential and Day Programs for FND

A collaboration with Stanford, the FND Day Program is a specialized treatment track within La Selva's state-of-the-art residential, partial hospitalization (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). All programs require a diagnosis of FND or conversion disorder by a neurologist with supportive documentation. For more information on residential admissions, call 650-323-1401. For PHP/IOP, call 650-617-8349. Click here for La Selva Frequently Asked Questions.

Stanford Outpatient Neurologic Rehabilitation Program

Physical and occupational therapists utilize a therapy protocol designed specifically for functional movement disorders and paralysis. Speech therapy is also available. For more information, call 650-725-5106 or visit the Outpatient Neurologic Rehabilitation Program page.

Treatment Plan in Community

Patients completing time-limited FND treatment at Stanford or unable to participate with on-site therapy will receive treatment plans designed around the local resources available to the client.

Appointments

650-498-9111

Referring Physician Services

Please complete the above form and fax it to 650-320-9443 or e-mail the Referral Center at ReferralCenter@stanfordhealthcare.org

Research & Follow-up Care

Patients are offered an opportunity to participate in national and international studies investigating FND diagnosis and treatment throughout the process of evaluation and treatment.

  • Embodied Virtual Reality Therapy for Functional Neurological Symptom/ Conversion Disorder

    The purpose of this study is to design and test the safety and feasibility of virtual reality technologies and experiences of egocentric avatar embodiment in the application of physical and cognitive behavior therapy in functional neurological symptom/conversion disorder. Investigators hypothesize that patients will safely use and accept this modality of treatment and will show evidence of a decrease in symptom frequency.

    Now accepting new patients View Details

Resources

This website and its contents are designed for informational purposes only and must not be substituted for professional care.

Functional Neurologic Symptom Disorder

Featuring Kim Bullock, MD and Juliana Lockman, MD

With functional neurologic symptom disorder, a patient experiences neurological symptoms inconsistent with a neurological disease. Doctors Bullock and Lockman discussed this little known but common diagnosis.

Psychogenic Seizures — What are They, How Can They be Diagnosed and Treated?

Featuring Robert Fisher, MD, PhD, John Barry, MD and Andres Kanner, MD

Psychogenic seizures are attacks that may look like epileptic seizures, but are not caused by abnormal brain electrical discharges. Hear the experts explain this confusing disorder, its diagnosis and treatment.

fndhope.org Facebook live event

Featuring Kim Bullock, MD, and Sepideh Bajestan, MD, PhD

We discuss new innovative research and how psychological therapies create functional brain connections for the organization fndhope.org on Facebook live.

Books:

  • Overcoming Functional Neurological Symptoms: A Five Areas Approach by Christopher Williams, Alan Carson, Sharon Smith, Michael Sharpe, Jonathan Cavanagh, Catriona Kent
  • Psychogenic Non-epileptic Seizures: A Guide by Lorna Myers
  • In Our Words: Personal Accounts of Living with Non-Epileptic Seizures by Marcus Reuber, Gregg Rawlings and Steven Schachter

Companion set to share with your therapist:

  • Taking Control of Your Seizures: Workbook (Treatments That Work) by Joel Reiter, Donna Andrews, Charlotte Reiter and Curt LaFrance, Jr.
  • Treating Non-epileptic Seizures: Therapist Guide (Treatments That Work) by W. Curt LaFrance, Jr. and Jeffrey Peter Wincze

Websites Moderated by Healthcare Professionals:

Educational Videos

Handouts Available for Download:

Faculty

Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (General Psychiatry and Psychology-Adult) and, by courtesy, of Emergency Medicine and of Medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center and, by courtesy, of Law
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (General Psychiatry and Psychology - Adult) and, by courtesy, of Neurology at the Stanford University Medical Center
Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor in Medicine

Dr. Kim Bullock demonstrating virtual reality for FND to Dr. Jon Stone, visiting professor from Edinburgh.

Dr. Kim Bullock and Neurology Resident Katherine Werbaneth at FND Conference in Scotland

Drs. Juliana Lockman, John Barry and Sepideh Bajestan (left to right) with Neuropsychiatry fellowship graduate Dr. Sarah Tymchuk (middle)

Dr. Kim Bullock presenting a poster at FND Conference in Scotland

Craig Forte, Dr. Sepideh Bajestan and Dr. Juliana Lockman, after leading an FND therapy group.