Table 1

Overview of FNSD predisposing factors

FactorSupporting evidence
Trauma/psychiatric symptomsHistory of sexual abuse or trauma
Increased stress
Increased anxiety and panic symptoms
Increased alexithymia
Comorbid dissociative disorders
Somatic symptomsComorbid fatigue, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome
Parent reinforcement and concern over physical symptoms, resulting in increased symptoms
Impairment in sensory gating, allowing for excessive information loading
Illness exposurePrecipitating physical event or physical trauma
Personal or family history of neurological disorder
Personal or family history of other health disorder
Profession in a medical or paramedical field
Media exposure to neurological disorder
Symptom monitoringImpairment in habituation
Increased focus on external body features
Increased self-monitoring
Neurobiological evidenceAbnormal attentional focus on affected area
Beliefs and expectations about illness
Deficits in sense of control over actions
Interregional neural network deficits in limbic system, sensorimotor areas and prefrontal cortex
Functional and structural brain abnormalities
  • FNSD = functional neurological symptom disorder.