Researchers break new ground on functional neurological disorder

For many years, an unusual condition comprised of physical symptoms with no apparent medical cause has puzzled experts. But in a study by the University of York, researchers break new ground on what may be causing a condition known as functional neurological disorder (FND).

The results appeared in Brain, Behavior, & Immunity – Health.

The study by the University of York unveiled that an inflammation process influencing gene expression could be the cause of conversion disorder. The findings arose as medical experts assert that the condition is challenging for patients and medical explanations are vague.

“People living with the condition can become very distressed and isolated, often losing jobs and social networks through being unable to communicate or being unwell. Patients can also suffer from memory and concentration problems,” said van der Feltz-Cornelis, co-author of the study, in a news release.

“We made the discovery by examining levels of inflammation in blood samples from patients with FND that mimicked stroke-like symptoms. They were found to be higher than normal. Also, microRNA levels in the blood seemed to play a role and this influences the expression of genes in the cell,” van der Feltz-Cornelis also stated.

The results of the study warrant further research into the mechanism of the condition, with the potential for the future development of treatments.

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