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Functional (conversion) neurological symptoms: research since the millennium
  1. Alan J Carson1,2,
  2. Richard Brown3,
  3. Anthony S David4,
  4. Roderick Duncan5,
  5. Mark J Edwards6,
  6. Laura H Goldstein4,
  7. Richard Grunewald7,
  8. Stephaine Howlett8,
  9. Richard Kanaan4,
  10. John Mellers4,
  11. Timothy R Nicholson4,
  12. M Reuber7,
  13. Anette-Eleonore Schrag6,
  14. Jon Stone1,
  15. Valerie Voon9,10,
  16. on behalf of UK-FNS*
  1. 1Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  4. 4Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK
  5. 5West of Scotland Regional Epilepsy Service, Department of Neurology, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  6. 6UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
  7. 7Academic Neurology Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  8. 8Department of Neurology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  9. 9Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  10. 10Behavioural and Clinical Neurosciences Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr A J Carson, Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Robert Fergusson Unit, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Tipperlin Road, Edinburgh, EH10 5HF, UK; a.carson{at}


Functional neurological symptoms (FNS) are commonly encountered but have engendered remarkably little academic interest. ‘UK-Functional Neurological Symptoms (UK-FNS)’ was an informal inaugural meeting of UK based clinicians in March 2011 with a variety of research and clinical interests in the field. This narrative review reflects the content of the meeting, and our opinion of key findings in the field since the turn of the millennium.

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  • * UK-FNS attendees: Richard J Brown, Alan Carson, Trudie Chalder, Anthony David, Roderick Duncan, Mark Edwards, Laura Goldstein, Richard Grunewald, Stephanie Howlett, Eileen Joyce, Richard Kanaan, John Mellers, Tim Nicholson, Maria Otto, Wendy Philips, Markus Reuber, Hugh Rickards, Anette-Eleonore Schrag, Michael Sharpe, Sharon Smith, Jon Stone, Valerie Voon, Charles Warlow.

  • Funding The UK FNS meeting was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from UCB Pharma.

  • Competing interests VV is a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.