Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-110

Comparison of psychosocial factors between patients with benign fasciculations and those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


1 Department of Neurology, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh; Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2 Department of Neurology, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, USA
3 The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep S Rana
Allegheny General Hospital, Allegheny Neurological Associates, Department of Neurology, East Wing Office Building, 420 East North Avenue, Suite 206, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.53079

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In this retrospective study, we compared the initial presentation of patients who were eventually diagnosed with either benign fasciculations (BF) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We found a significantly higher number of patients with BF reporting a past history of psychiatric symptoms, life stressors, and concurrent psychosomatic symptoms. There was no difference between the two groups in patient report of current anxiety or depression symptoms. These findings support our hypothesis that BF are a manifestation of psychological distress due to somatization and that reviewing psychosocial history is important when patients are being evaluated for fasciculations. Patients seeking medical attention for fasciculations and who do not report a history of underlying psychiatric or psychosomatic disorders should be followed closely as fasciculations have been reported to be a presenting feature of ALS.


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