Site Map

Functional neurological disorder

Conversion disorder; Functional neurological symptom disorder

Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a condition in which there is a problem with how the brain receives and sends information to one or more parts of the body. FND is not caused by a disease or injury. For reasons not understood, the nervous (neurological) system does not work properly.

FND symptoms may include weakness and paralysis of the limbs, seizures, tremors and jerks, and other nervous system symptoms.

I Would Like to Learn About:


FND has no known cause. However, stress or a mental or physical trauma can trigger FND. It can also occur with no known trigger.

Certain factors may make a person more susceptible to FND:

FND is uncommon in children under age 10. Before age 50, it is more likely to occur in women. After age 50 it affects both men and women equally.

While the cause of FND is unclear, this condition and its symptoms are real. It causes serious distress and cannot be turned on and off at will.


FND can cause a variety of symptoms that affect body movement, senses, and thinking:

Exams and Tests

There is no one single test for FND. Your provider will do physical, neurological, and psychiatric exams and may order diagnostic tests. These are to check for medical causes of the symptom.


Treatment for FND will depend on what symptoms you experience. You may work with different providers, including:

Treatments may include:

It can also help to learn about FND and understand that your symptoms are real, even without a medical cause. Knowing that there is no serious medical cause may help you feel less anxious and more able to cope.

Support Groups

More information and support for people with FND and their families can be found at:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Symptoms usually last for days to weeks and may suddenly go away while others may last for years. The symptom itself is usually not life threatening, but complications can be debilitating.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

See your provider or mental health professional if you or someone you know has symptoms of functional neurological disorder.

Related Information

Dependent personality disorder


American Psychiatric Association. Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association Publishing; 2022.

Gerstenblith TA, Kontos N. Somatic symptom disorders. In: Stern TA, Fava M, Wilens TE, Rosenbaum JF, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 24.


Review Date: 11/6/2022  

Reviewed By: Fred K. Berger, MD, addiction and forensic psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 11/09/2023.

ADAM Quality Logo
Health Content Provider

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complied with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information from 1995 to 2022, after which HON (Health On the Net, a not-for-profit organization that promoted transparent and reliable health information online) was discontinued.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2024 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.