FNDS Newsletter - July 2023


2023 Volume 3, Number 2

Editor's Note

Greetings Esteemed Members and Readers,

We are delighted to present the second edition of the FNDS Newsletter for 2023. The editorial team is committed to providing our readers with the most recent and relevant information on Functional Neurological Disorders.

In this edition, we have included a diverse range of content for your perusal. We have included a special interview with Mark Hallett about his 40-year history working in neuroscience. We have also included the details regarding the FND symposium at AOPMC 2023 in Kolkata, India, and the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Boston in April 2023.

The current edition of the newsletter has also highlighted the educational activities of the FNDS and new website features added recently.

We welcome any feedback and suggestions for the improvement of our newsletter. We hope that you will find this edition informative and engaging.


The Editorial Team
Functional Neurological Disorder Society Newsletter

Functional Movement Disorders Symposium at AOPMC 2023, Kolkata, India
by Adreesh Mukherjee and Sanjay Pandey, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad, Delhi NCR, India

The 8th Asian and Oceanian Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Congress (AOPMC) was held in Kolkata, India on March 17-19, 2023. On the second day of the congress, the scientific session on Functional Movement Disorders (FMDs) was organized with Sanjay Pandey as the ASPC liaison, and Zakiyah Aldaajani and Victor Fung as the chairs. The session started with a discussion by Sanjay Pandey on the phenomenology and clinical aspects of FMDs, from the common presentations of tremor to the rare manifestation of tics. It showcased several interesting videos depicting the movements and underscored the complex multifactorial nature of the disorders. It was followed by the elaboration of the electrophysiology of FMDs by Pattamon Panyakaew. The session consisted of a thorough discussion on the electrophysiological approach and techniques utilized in FMDs, such as multichannel surface EMG with accelerometry for tremor, simultaneous EMG and EEG for jerky movements, and the Bereitschaftspotential. It described the different parameters to note in FMDs including the methods to assess distractibility, variability, and entrainment. The important aspect of the treatment of FMDs was deliberated in the concluding session by Victor Fung. It incorporated the approach to the treatment of functional (psychogenic) movement disorders and discussed in detail the various avenues of treatment. The sessions stressed the correct and ‘positive’ identification of FMDs, supported by appropriate electrophysiological tools, and providing evidence-based treatment. The audience was captivated by the scientific content and eloquent deliberation, and many of them participated in the interactive sessions with the speakers. Thus, the AOPMC scientific session proved to be quite successful in delivering a robust scientific message regarding functional movement disorders.


Left to Right: Sanjay Pandey, Victor Fung, Zakiyah Aldaajani, and Pattamon Panyakaew

Comprehensive Coverage of FND Topics at AAN Annual Meeting
by Renzo Figari Jordan

Boston Convention Center, April 22-27, 2023

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting held at the Boston Convention Center provided an enriching platform for experts in the field of Functional Neurological Disorders (FND) to share their insights, research, and advancements. The conference showcased a comprehensive range of sessions that covered various aspects of FND, including diagnosis, treatment, understanding vulnerable populations, and debunking myths. Here is an overview of the noteworthy sessions and presentations that took place during the event.

On Saturday, April 22nd, the Hot Topics Plenary Session included a talk on Biological Vulnerability Factors in FND led by Selma Aybek, MD, FAAN. Her presentation explored the underlying biological mechanisms and vulnerabilities associated with FND, shedding light on potential markers and risk factors that contribute to the development of functional symptoms. Dr. Aybek's session provided valuable insights into the intricate interplay between neurobiology and the manifestation of FND, paving the way for future research in the field.

Continuing the insightful discussions, on Sunday, April 23rd, three distinguished physicians, Dr. Mark Hallett, Dr. David Perez, and Dr. Alberto Espay, took the stage to discuss the treatment and management of FND. Dr. Espay's focus was on the diagnosis of FND, highlighting the importance of recognizing distinct clinical features and distinguishing them from other neurological disorders. Dr. Hallett's expertise centered around laboratory support for diagnosis, emphasizing the significance of advanced techniques and neurophysiological investigations. Dr. Perez's presentation emphasized the multidisciplinary approach required for effective FND management, highlighting treatment strategies such as physical therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medication management.

On Monday, April 24th, Dr. Z Paige L'Erario presented a session on FND in LGBTQI individuals. This session shed light on the unique challenges faced by this community and their potential impact on the presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of FND. Dr. L'Erario's discussion emphasized the need for culturally competent care and inclusivity in FND research and practice, providing valuable insights for healthcare providers.

The conference also featured a range of poster presentations dedicated to FND. Two notable posters included "A Scoping Review of Functional Neurological Disorder in Sexual and Gender Minority People" by Valeria Roldan, which provided a comprehensive analysis of the challenges faced by sexual and gender minority individuals with FND, and "A Cross-Sectional Evaluation of Health Resource Use in Patients with Functional Neurological Disorders Referred to a Tertiary Neuroscience Centre " by Dr. Brian William O'Mahony, which assessed healthcare resource utilization patterns among FND patients. These posters contributed to the growing body of research and provided valuable insights into improving patient care and resource allocation.

In addition to these sessions, the conference hosted a lecture on Wednesday, April 26th, titled "Myths, Truths, and Misunderstandings of FND Beyond Seizures." This informative session aimed to debunk misconceptions surrounding FND and enhance understanding of the condition beyond seizure-related manifestations. Dr. Mark Hallett, Dr. Curt LaFrance, and Dr. Selim Benbadis provided an insightful discussion.

The AAN annual meeting served as a comprehensive platform for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and advancement in the field of FND. The discussions, presentations, and poster sessions highlighted the multidimensional nature of FND and emphasized the importance of considering various factors in diagnosis, treatment, and care. The insights gained from this event will shape future research, clinical practice, and public understanding of FND, ultimately improving the lives of individuals affected by this complex disorder.


Mark Hallett: Celebrating 40 Years of Service and Pioneering Work in Neuroscience
by Michael Romeo

In this issue of the FNDS newsletter, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Mark Hallett about his 40 year history working in neuroscience.



Save the Dates

5th International Conference on Functional Neurological Disorder
June 8-11, 2024

Palazzo della Gran Guardia
Verona, Italy

5th International Conference on functional Neurological Disorder
Hotel accommodations are now available. Book your hotel today.



FNDS Happenings

Educational Events

The Journal Club is an opportunity for members to hear the primary author of recent articles relevant to FND speak about their publication, and to ask them questions. The Journal Club is usually the first Thursday of each month. The next Journal Club is scheduled for September 7, 2023.

FND Virtual Courses. In June of 2023 FNDS held a very successful virtual course on Functional Neurological Disorder: Putting Principles into Practice. The FNDS Education Committee is currently working on two more courses for later this year. One on psychotherapy and mental health, and another on rehabilitation.

New Website Features

The FNDS is pleased to announce the launch of a new feature on our website - Research Projects. This platform is designed to provide a space for researchers to share their current studies with individuals and organizations who are interested in the latest advancements in the field of Functional Neurological Disorder.


The addition of an Events Calendar. Here you will find events and programs that FNDS has planned as well as FND related events submitted by partners.


Functional Neurological Disorder Society
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