Patients who complain of symptoms of hysteria are often ticked off, by physicians, for having any discernable cause for their apparent ailment. However, researchers from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, disagree that it is merely a state of extreme emotions or emotional instability.
Brain scans helped to detect evidence to prove evidence of dysfunction in brain tissue in three women with hysteria. Technically, hysteria is termed as 'sensory conversion disorder'.
The journal Neurology, published the findings of the researchers in the Dec. 12 issue. The study helps to understand conversion disorder much better. Hysteria is a neurological disorder, where, although the patient complains of symptoms, doctors are often unable to pinpoint any medical abnormality.
The women who were part of his study mentioned a sensation of left sided numbness in their extremities. Using MRI scans the researchers observed the response of the women's brains, when the numb body parts were stimulated.
When the numb parts were stimulated, the brain failed to respond to touch. But when the limbs on boyh sides were stimulated the brain area did respond. The researchers inferred that the somatosensory region of the brain gets activated only when both affected limb and the unaffected limb is stimulated. The patient seems to get distracted when both limbs are stimulated said lead researcher and author of the study Dr. Omar Ghaffar, in Toronto.
Yet another study is being planned to focus on the effect of distraction to overcome conversion disorder,announced the researchers.