128| Functional Cognitive Disorder – A Conversation With Dr. Laura McWhirter

This episode is a conversation about functional cognitive disorder (FCD) with Dr. Laura McWhirter. The discussion covers preliminary diagnostic criteria, internal inconsistency, epidemiology, clinical features, differential diagnosis with neurodegenerative diseases, common diagnostic pitfalls, etiology/mechanism, metacognition, subjective cognitive concerns, objective cognitive testing, performance validity, genetics and neurobiology, and pushback against FCD as a diagnosis.

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About Laura

Dr. Laura McWhirter graduated MBChB from the University of Edinburgh in 2008, having taken an unusual route to medicine after a degree in music from the University of York in 2001.  Dr McWhirter completed specialist training in General Adult and Liaison Psychiatry in South East Scotland in June 2018. She has been active in neuropsychiatry research since 2013 as part of the Edinburgh Functional Disorders Research Group. Her research program is in cognition and functional neurological disorders.

References

Ball, H. A., McWhirter, L., Ballard, C., Bhome, R., Blackburn, D. J., Edwards, M. J., Fleming, S. M., Fox, N. C., Howard, R., Huntley, J., Isaacs, J. D., Larner, A. J., Nicholson, T. R., Pennington, C. M., Poole, N., Price, G., Price, J. P., Reuber, M., Ritchie, C., … Carson, A. J. (2020). Functional cognitive disorder: Dementia’s blind spot. Brain, 143(10), 2895–2903. https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa224

Ball, H. A., McWhirter, L., Ballard, C., Bhome, R., Blackburn, D. J., Edwards, M. J., Fox, N. C., Howard, R., Huntley, J., Isaacs, J. D., Larner, A. J., Nicholson, T. R., Pennington, C. M., Poole, N., Price, G., Price, J. P., Reuber, M., Ritchie, C., Rossor, M. N., … Carson, A. J. (2021). Reply: Functional cognitive disorder: Dementia’s blind spot. Brain, 144(9). https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab305

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McWhirter, L., King, L., McClure, E., Ritchie, C., Stone, J., & Carson, A. (2021). The frequency and framing of cognitive lapses in healthy adults. CNS Spectrums, 27(3), 331–338. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1092852920002096

McWhirter, L., Ritchie, C. W., Stone, J., & Carson, A. (2020b). Performance validity test failure in clinical populations—a systematic review. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 91(9), 945–952. https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-323776

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McWhirter, L., Ritchie, C., Stone, J., & Carson, A. (2021). Identifying functional cognitive disorder: A proposed diagnostic risk model. CNS Spectrums, 27(6), 754–763. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1092852921000845

McWhirter, L., Sargent, B., Ritchie, C., Stone, J., & Carson, A. (2019). I think, therefore I forget – using experimental simulation of dementia to understand functional cognitive disorders. CNS Spectrums, 25(4), 511–518. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1092852919001329

McWhirter, L., Smyth, H., Hoeritzauer, I., Couturier, A., Stone, J., & Carson, A. J. (2022). What is brain fog? Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 94(4), 321–325. https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2022-329683

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