Functional Neurological Disorder Research
UROLOGIC SYMPTOMS AND FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS (extract from Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Edited by Mark Hallett; Jon Stone; Alan Carson, Elsevier 2016. Used with kind permission of the editors)
I Hoeritzauer, V Phe, J N Panicker
The term functional urologic disorders covers a wide range of conditions related broadly to altered function rather than structure of the lower urinary tract, mainly of impaired urine voiding or storage. Confusingly, for a neurologic readership, these disorders of function may often be due to a urologic, gynecologic, or neurologic cause. However, there is a subset of functional urologic disorders where the cause remains uncertain and, in this chapter, we describe the clinical features of these disorders in turn: psychogenic urinary retention; Fowler’s syndrome; paruresis (shy-bladder syndrome); dysfunctional voiding; idiopathic overactive bladder, and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.
Some of these overlap in terms of symptoms, but have become historically separated. Psychogenic urinary retention in particular has now largely been abandoned as a concept, in part because of the finding of specific urethral electromyogram findings in patients with this symptom now described as having Fowler’s syndrome, and their successful treatment with sacral neurostimulation.
In this chapter we review the poorly researched interface between these “idiopathic” functional urologic disorders and other functional disorders (e.g., irritable-bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia) as well as specifically functional neurologic disorders. We conclude that there may be a relationship and overlap between them and that this requires further research, especially in those idiopathic functional urologic disorders which involve disorders of the urethral sphincter (i.e., voluntary muscle).