Editors: Mark Hallet, Anthony E. Lang, Joseph, Jankovic, Stanley Fahn, Peter W. Halligan, Valerie Voon, and C. Robert Cloninger
Publisher:  Cambridge University Press – 324 pages
Book Review by: Nano Khilnani

Psychogenic movement disorders and other conversion disorders are some of the most mis-diagnosed conditions in psychiatry. Correct diagnosis of the exact nature and features of this ailment is one of the most difficult of tasks, so proper and effective treatment is very critical.

This book, with 80 specialist content contributors including seven highly qualified experts as editors, is an ideal tool for those who have patients with such disorders. Reading the detailed list of chapters below that discuss the various syndromes is an imperative first step to take, and acquiring this text as a must-have-and-keep reference is the critical second step to take.

  1. Section I – Clinical Issues
  2. Introduction to the psychiatry of movement disorders
  3. Phenomenology of psychogenic movement disorders
  4. Psychogenic parkinsonism
  5. Epidemiology and clinical impact of psychogenic movement disorders
  6. The Scottish Neurological Symptoms Study: diagnoses, characteristics, and prognosis in 1144 new neurology outpatients with symptoms unexplained by disease
  7. Predisposition and issues of mixed etiology in psychogenic movement disorders
  8. Psychogenic movement disorders in children
  9. Childhood disorders: another perspective
  10. Clinical features and treatment outcome of conversion disorders in children and adolescents
  11. Somatoform disorders and psychogenic movement disorders
  12. Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures
  13. Hypochonriasis and its relationship to somatization
  14. Movement disorders in complex regional pain syndrome: the pain field perspective
  15. Psychogenic dystonia in psychogenic complex regional pain syndrome
  16. Latah and related syndromes
  17. Trauma and dissociation: clinical manifestations, diagnosis, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment
  18. Psychogenic movement disorders: illness in search of disease?
  19. Possible genetic approaches to conversion
  20. Section II – Physiology
  21. Functional brain imaging of psychogenic paralysis during conversion and hypnosis
  22. Action control in conversion paralysis: evidence from motor imagery
  23. Imaging in psychogenic movement disorders
  24. Imaging in hysterical, hypnotically suggested, and malingered limb paralysis
  25. Functional imaging of psychogenic and feigned weakness
  26. An MRI study of recall of causal events in conversion disorder: preliminary evidence of increased orbito-frontal and parietal activation
  27. Cortisol, trauma, threat vigilance in patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures
  28. Components of voluntary action
  29. Action selection in psychogenic movement disorders
  30. Insights from physiology: tremor and myoclonus
  31. Physiology of psychogenic dystonia
  32. Evoked potentials in the assessment of patients with suspected psychogenic sensory symptoms
  33. Characterizing and assessing the spectrum of volition in psychogenic movement disorders
  34. Section III – Assessment
  35. Rating scales for psychogenic movement disorders
  36. Quality of life in psychogenic movement disorders: the cause, not the effect
  37. Psychiatric testing
  38. Diagnostic considerations for the assessment of malingering within the context of psychogenic movement disorders
  39. Section IV – Treatment
  40. Prognosis in patients with psychogenic movement disorders
  41. Psychogenic movement disorders: explaining the diagnosis
  42. Patterns of practice: report of the Movement Disorder Society questionnaire
  43. Psychotherapy for psychogenic movement disorders
  44. Pharmacotherapy
  45. Suggestion
  46. Treating psychogenic movement disorders with suggestion
  47. Inpatient therapy: trying to transcend pathological dissociation, dependence, and disability

Appendix: Psychogenic movement disorders video legends




Mark Hallet, MD is Chief of the Human Motor Control Section in the Medical Neurology Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Anthony E. Lang, MD, FRCPC is Professor and Director of the Division of Neurology and Jack Clark Chair for Parkinson’s disease research at the University of Toronto, and Director of the Movement Disorders Center at Toronto Western Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Joseph, Jankovic, MD is Professor of Neurology, Distinguished Chair in Movement Disorders, Director of the Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Neurology in Houston, Texas.

Stanley Fahn, MD is H. Houston Merritt Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders, at Columbia University in New York, New York.

Peter W. Halligan DSc, FBPS, FMedSci is Professor and Dean of Strategic Futures and Interdisciplinary Studies at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.

Valerie Voon, MD is a Clinical Research Associate in the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Robert Cloninger, MD is Wallace Renard Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Psychobiology of Personality in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.