Functional Neurological Disorder

What is FND?

FND Functional Neurological Disorder is a name used by Neurologists and medical professionals for neurosymptoms which are caused by a disease in a different part of the body.

Although parts of the nervous system may not function correctly or at all, this is not a disease of the nervous system but a reaction to the other disease.

A survey of FND patients found that 90% of these had a biological disease.

There are many different diseases that can cause the nervous system to malfunction including:

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome



Lyme disease

The neurosymptoms of Functional Neurological Disorder

There are many debilitating neurosymptoms of this disorder which vary from patient to patient. This can make it harder to diagnose and treat however there is a distinct set of procedures to gain a diagnosis and Functional immunological Neurological Disorder is not diagnosed by elimination of other disorders.

Here is a list of the most reported FND symptoms:

  • Limb weakness or paralysis
  • Numbness or pins and needles
  • Movement disorders including tremors, dystonia (spasms), myoclonus (jerky movements)
  • Visual symptoms including loss of vision or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Brain Fog
  • Speech symptoms including dysphonia (whispering speech), slurred or stuttering speech
  • Sensory disturbance including hemisensory syndrome (altered sensation down one side of the body)
  • Blackouts (also called dissociative or non-epileptic seizures/attacks) – these may look like epileptic seizures or faints
  • Chronic pain – including fibromyalgia
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbance – either insufficient (insomnia) or excessive (hypersomnia)
  • Post-exertional malaise (PEM)
  • Nausea
  • Irritable bowel symptoms
  • Overactive bladder or urinary voiding dysfunction

Treatment for Functional Neurological Disorder

The causes of FND are varied and so is the required treatment. Some neurosymptoms of Functional Neurological Disorder can be relieved with the use of medication and relaxation techniques.

There are four main treatments for Functional Neurological Disorder:


There is no single medication that can relieve the symptoms of FND so instead, each symptom is treated separately e.g. Migraine medication for Migraines, Beta blockers for spasms, Sleeping tablets for sleep disorder.


It is generally understood that physiotherapy may not be very helpful for the majority of patients however regular massage sessions seem to alleviate some of the muscle pain associated with FND.

Psychological therapy

CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is only beneficial for patients with Conversion Disorder (not FND) and despite extensive research by the UK government no evidence has proven that Functional Neurological Disorder is caused by a psychological disorder. CBT has a very low success rate in FND cases (lower than 16%) so is generally only helpful to people also suffering from mental health issues.

The International Classification of Disease (ICD-11) which was finalised in 2017 has functional disorders within the neurology section for the first time.


Many FND  sufferers find osteopaths that practice the Perrin technique to be very beneficial. This technique concentrates on massaging toxins that have settled and become stagnant towards the lymph glands and out of the body.

Although the Perrin technique is not a cure, it may provide temporary relief.

Much more research is required and with your help, FiND ME can make a difference.


For references and citations please click here.