Lisa O'Brien - Specialist Epilepsy Nurse
  • By Daniela Jacques
  • May 13, 2018

Working with Non Epileptic Attack Disorder

Working with Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD) Conference

Independence Homes support some Service Users who live with the effects of Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD). Very little is know about the condition and research is still in its infancy. One of our specialist nurses Lisa O’Brien attended the conference: Meeting the challenges of Working with Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD), organised by the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Here Lisa talks about what she learnt at this valuable conference.

I am often the first medical contact people have after receiving a diagnosis, and so I wanted to attend the NEAD conference in Sheffield to gain further insight and discover strategies to manage and support Service Users who are impacted by the condition. The conference was also a great opportunity to meet and network with other experts working in this field and listen to talks from psychologists and neurologists.

All the speakers were fantastic and approachable, providing many insights and practical tips. I particularly enjoyed listening to Richard Grunewald who I have had the pleasure of hearing speak previously, and have always found him interesting and knowledgeable.

The conference included workshops where I had the opportunity to work with other specialist Epilepsy nurses, which provided a great opportunity to share cases and benefit from each other’s experience.

The two scheduled topics I found of particular benefit were  – The diagnostic process and how to manage uncertainty and to follow up patients with NEAD. We were invited to choose specific topics that we wished to discuss, and I suggested exploring NEAD and the connection with Learning Disabilities and a diagnosis of epilepsy.

I consider this conference one of the most beneficial of my career, and I have taken away some great strategies to support individuals with NEAD as well as gaining priceless information and advice on accessing support in the community. It has also given me a much better insight into the dissociative state in general – Aiding my identification and my ability to explain it to others. A huge thank you to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for putting on such a great event.