Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)

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What is Functional Neurological Disorder?

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a problem with the functioning of the nervous system and how the brain and body send and receive signals. Physical and/or psychological risk factors can cause functional symptoms which include a variety of physical, sensory and cognitive symptoms

How common is FND?

FND is listed as a rare disease, however, approximately 1/3 of outpatient neurology clinic attendances are patients reporting functional symptoms. While the exact prevalence is unknown, FND is the second most common reason for a neurological outpatient visit after headache/migraine (

What causes FND?

Despite increased research into FND it remains poorly understood. There are many factors which may lead to FND symptoms or trigger it’s on onset. These include previous illness, psychological symptoms/events or significant stress. However, it is important to remember that not all presentations of FND have a history of trauma or psychological distress

What should I do if I think I have FND?

Getting a diagnosis from a neurologist that understands the condition is very important. Having a well explained diagnosis has been shown to have a positive effect on outcomes. Once a diagnosis is received you will ideally be referred for treatment depending on your symptoms

What treatment will I receive?

Ideally your treatment will be a team approach which may include a physiotherapist, psychologist, occupational therapist or speech pathologist. Treatment will be guided by your presenting symptoms. It is important that your treating team have a good understanding of FND for you to receive optimal care.

How can Physiotherapy help me?

Physiotherapists help you get the most out of your life and help you with your day to day activities. They do this by promoting movement, physical activity and exercise and providing education and advice. All treatment will be tailored to your needs. Physiotherapists often support the management of motor symptoms such as:

  • Limb weakness ­
  • Tremor (shaking) ­
  • Dystonia (abnormal posturing) ­
  • Gait disorders
  • Freezing

Useful resources

  1.  – Educational videos and resources

If you have been diagnosed with FND and need some guidance on managing your symptoms please contact us on

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