Neuroimaging Biomarkers of Prognosis in Motor Functional Neurological Disorders


Functional Neurological Disorder (FND/ Conversion Disorder) is a highly prevalent and disabling neuropsychiatric condition. Motor FND symptoms include Nonepileptic Seizures, Functional Movement Disorders and Functional Weakness. Clinical research across these motor FND subtypes, including research studies from the candidate's laboratory, suggest that these populations share many clinical and phenotypic similarities that warrant increased research integration. Furthermore, despite the prevalence of motor FND, little is known about the underlying neuropathophysiology of this condition, which is a prerequisite for the development of biologically informed prognostic and treatment response biomarkers. Across 3 published neurobiologically focused articles, the candidate proposed a framework through which to conceptualize motor FND. It is suggested that motor FND develops in the context of structural and functional alterations in neurocircuits mediating emotion awareness/expression, bodily awareness, viscerosomatic processing and behavioral regulation. The overall goal of this project is to comprehensively investigate structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers of prognosis across motor FND. Multimodal structural and functional MRI techniques (including voxel-based morphometry, cortical thickness, resting-state functional connectivity and diffusion tensor imaging tractography) will be used to systemically probe brain-prognosis relationships. Novel aspects of this proposal include the study of the full spectrum of motor FND, consistent with a trans-diagnostic approach.

Study Start Date

September, 01 2017

Estimated Completion Date

August 2022


  • Other: Standard of Care

Study ID

Massachusetts General Hospital -- 1K23MH111983-01A1



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase


Enrollment Quota



Massachusetts General Hospital

Inclusion Criteria

  • clinically established motor functional neurological disorder, including individuals with functional movement disorders, functional limb weakness and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures

Exclusion Criteria

  • active suicidality
  • major medical/neurological comorbidities with known central nervous system (CNS) consequences
  • active drug use or alcohol dependence
  • known history of a primary psychotic disorder




18 Years to 65 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers


Study Locations and Contact Information (1)

Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
Massachusetts General Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts 2.8 miles David L Perez MD MMSc 617-724-7243 provides clinical trial listings in an easy to view format. All clinical trial information is pulled directly from This website does not guarantee acceptance into any clinical trial, and is not responsible for adverse events that may be incurred from a clinical trial.