112| Functional (Nonepileptic) Seizures – A Conversation With Dr. W. Curt LaFrance Jr.

We speak with W. Curt LaFrance Jr., MD, MPH, about functional (nonepileptic) seizures. We cover epidemiology, overlap and differences with regard to epilepsy, negative health outcomes, co-occurring psychological and neurological factors, an etiological framework, cognitive profiles, and treatment. We also discuss general overlap across neurology and psychiatry, as well as future directions in research on functional seizures.

A pdf of the transcript for this episode is available here.

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About Curt

Curt LaFrance Jr., MD, MPH, FAAN, FANPA, DFAPA, is director of neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology at Rhode Island Hospital and professor of psychiatry and neurology at Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School. He is director of the VA Mind Brain Program, staff physician at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center and clinical lead for the National TeleMental Health Center tele-seizures clinic. He studied at Wake Forest University (B.A. in Psychology), Medical College of Georgia (M.D.) and Brown University (MPH). He trained in Brown’s combined neurology/psychiatry residency and is double boarded. He has served on the Epilepsy Foundation Professional Advisory Board and has chaired task forces with the American Epilepsy Society and International League Against Epilepsy. He has received grants from EF, AES, the Matthew Siravo Memorial Foundation, Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, and a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke K23 Award. He directed the combined residency at Brown from 2012-19 and has served as research advisor or mentor to Brown undergraduates in neurobiology and psychology; residents in psychiatry, neurology and neuropsychiatry; and faculty. He trains clinicians around the country using distance supervision in treatment delivery for seizures, movement disorders, head injuries and somatic symptom disorders, based on a whole-person, integrative medicine bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach. His research focuses on developing new biomarkers and treatments for neuropsychiatric aspects of epilepsy, conversion (functional neurological) disorders and traumatic brain injury. His studies are published in neurology and psychiatry journals. He serves on journal editorial boards and is co-editor of the fourth edition of “Nonepileptic Seizures”, and co-author of “Taking Control of Your Seizures: Workbook” and “Taking Control of Your Seizures: Therapist Guide.” A goal of his work at Brown, nationally and internationally, has been to bridge neurology and psychiatry clinical practice and scientific research and to dissolve arbitrary boundaries between the two fields.



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