It takes veterans on average five times longer to be diagnosed with epileptic and psychogenic seizures than the general population, according to a new study conducted by the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The reason for the delay is not exactly known, but epilepsy monitoring units are not widely available at most veterans affairs centers.
Psychogenic seizures are caused by psychological effects and are usually misdiagnosed and treated as epileptic, which can lead to dangerous side effects. Epileptic seizures are caused by paroxysmal neuronal discharges. Veterans are more susceptible to psychogenic seizures since they have higher risks of getting post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. The study was done over a 10 year period of 726 civilians and 203 veterans, and showed that it took veterans 5 years to be diagnosed while it took the general population 1 year.