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A disorder with many names
The article by Stone et al (this issue, p 591– 596)1 addresses the natural history of a disorder with many names, none satisfactory. Functional, hysterical, psychogenic, medically unexplained, dissociative, conversion—all the names for this disorder have their faults. Yet the disorder is common, poses a management problem for doctors, and carries a poor prognosis. What is wrong with these patients?
What is now clearly known not to be wrong is the occult presence of a neurological disorder. Several follow up studies, this one included, show that the rate of erroneous diagnosis is low; neurological …