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Abdominal Epilepsy, a Rare Cause of Abdominal Pain: The Need to Investigate Thoroughly as Opposed to Making Rapid Attributions of Psychogenic Causality

Authors Lo Bianco G, Thomson S, Vigneri S, Shapiro H, Schatman ME

Received 30 January 2020

Accepted for publication 19 February 2020

Published 26 February 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 457—460


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael A Überall

Giuliano Lo Bianco, 1–3 Simon Thomson, 3 Simone Vigneri, 4 Hannah Shapiro, 5 Michael E Schatman 6, 7

1Università di Catania, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Biotecnologiche (BIOMETEC), Catania, Italy; 2I.R.C.C.S. CROB Centro di Riferimento Oncologico Basilicata, Rionero in Vulture, Potenza, Italy; 3Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHSFT, Orsett Hospital, Pain Management and Neuromodulation, London, Essex, UK; 4Pain Medicine Department, Santa Maria Maddalena Hospital, Occhiobello, Rovigo, Italy; 5Department of Biopsychology, Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA; 6Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; 7Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence: Michael E Schatman Tel +1425647-4880

Abdominal pain is a nonspecific symptom which can be caused by myriad pathologies, resulting in frequent misdiagnosis. 1 Some pathological conditions can cause paroxysmal gastrointestinal symptoms, such as  porphyria, cyclical vomiting, intestinal malrotation, peritoneal bands, and abdominal migraine. 2 Furthermore, emotional and psychological factors may also play an important role in the presentation of certain patients with gastrointestinal disorders, and accurate diagnosis can be confounded by these. An accurate diagnosis may be delayed or even abandoned due to the attribution of “functional” or “psychogenic”  causality. 3 Physicians in numerous fields of practice too often respond in such a fashion when the more common causes of pain conditions are ruled out, 4 which potentially puts patients with rare pain disorders that are challenging to diagnose at considerable risk for needless, prolonged suffering. Further, the stigma associated with being diagnosed with a Somatoform Disorder or a Medically Unexplained Symptom (MUS) should not be understated. 5

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