NES (Non-Epileptic Seizures)

Department of Neurology Clinical Practice

nes‚ÄčNES is a common illness and has many names: non-epileptic seizures, non-electrical seizures, dissociative attacks, functional seizures, psychogenic non-epileptic events, somatoform disorder, conversion disorder or psychogenic seizures to name a few. These events are outwardly similar to epileptic seizures but have a different underlying cause. They can involve anything from "zoning out" to fully blacking out and having violent movements similar to epileptic seizures. Sometimes patients are told, incorrectly, that they have epileptic seizures which can be very confusing as very few patients have both. In some cases, patients with NES are given medicines for epilepsy. Making the right diagnosis is essential because medicines for epilepsy are not helpful for NES which has a different treatment pathway.



What's different about NES, and how is it treated?

Unlike epilepsy, NES is not accompanied by abnormal discharges on the EEG. NES is due to a temporary circuit disruption in the brain, akin to "circuit overload." This makes it difficult, or often impossible, to stay aware and control what the body is doing during an event 



Our NES program has several components:


**As of 3/2020, all but the neurological assessment are conducted virtually via telehealth**

  • A multidisciplinary team of neurologists, psychiatrists, and social workers
  • Complete neurological assessment
  • Complete behavioral health assessment
  • Group therapies
  • Family therapy
  • Medication review and recommendations
  • Recommendations for ongoing care after discharge
  • NOTE: All decisions about your care in the NES Clinic are shared between you and our clinicians. Treatment for NES is highly individualized to the patient. Therefore, you may or may not be recommended all treatment visits listed here.


What will my program of care look like?

  • The NES team meets weekly and discusses the best plan for each patient.
  • Our goal is to return you back to your primary care team after six months.
  • We will develop a transition plan with you.
  • We are optimistic that you will do well with our program.

To learn more about NES treatment, please click Here 

To make an appointment:

  1. Have your referring physician complete the referral intake form and FAX it and your medical records and insurance information to (720) 848-2106.
  2. Please allow 2 business days for processing of your paperwork. Then CALL (720) 848-2080 to schedule your appointment.
  3. Be sure you have your EEG REPORT and BRAIN MRI or CT REPORT available.
  4. The NES Clinic providers are licensed in CO, WY and NM. If you do not live in one of these states, email the clinic to discuss options for treatment.

We accept all PPO/HMO/POS, Medicaid, Medicare and Tricare plans. Please call your insurance carrier to verify benefits and coverage at University of Colorado Hospital.

For any questions please email:
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