International FND Awareness Day Date in the current year: April 13, 2024

International FND Awareness Day International FND Awareness Day is observed annually on April 13. It was created to raise awareness of functional neurological disorder, a neurological condition in which the nervous system has trouble transmitting signals between the brain and the body.

Functional neurological disorder (FND) is an umbrella term for a group of neurological disorders where the brain does not send and receive signals accurately. FND can cause a variety of motor, sensory and cognitive symptoms including, but not limited to, weakness, blackouts (non-epileptic seizures), tremors, spasms, double vision, stuttering or slurred speech, heightened anxiety, balance problems, dizziness, chronic pain, headaches and migraines, and more.

FND symptoms typically have a sudden onset and progress rapidly. They usually wax and wane; a patient can be in a complete remission one day and then experience a sudden recurrence of symptoms the next day. In such cases, FND symptoms are often triggered by another illness or injury.

The main issue with FND is that its symptoms are very real and can severely affect the quality of life, but they do not seem to have a distinct organic or psychological cause. Some researchers claim that FND is caused by unresolved traumatic events, but around 70% of FND patients have reported no such events in the past.

Because of this, the disorder exists in a kind of gray area between neurology and psychiatry, and has failed to gain the interest of clinicians and researchers until recently despite its prevalence. FND is hard to diagnose and can be confused with other disorders such as multiple sclerosis, certain autoimmune disorders, vascular disorders, etc. It may take years for people affected with FND to get diagnosed and receive treatment that will help them mitigate the symptoms and improve their quality of life.

FND treatment is usually based on a multi-disciplinary approach. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy can help with motor symptoms, whereas medications may be used to treat symptoms such as chronic pain, seizures, headaches and migraines, etc.

International FND Awareness Day was launched in 2013 by FND Hope, a global charity with national chapters in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia that unites and supports people with functional neurological disorder from all over the world, promotes FND awareness, and works to advance research for FND prevention and treatment. Since then, the entire month of April has been designated as FND Awareness Month.

There are many ways to get involved with International FND Awareness Day. You can learn more about the condition and share the information you’re learned with others, donate to or volunteer at an organization that supports FND patients or funds FND research, host an FND fundraiser or awareness event, and spread awareness on social media with the hashtags #InternationalFNDAwarenessDay, #FNDAwarenessDay and #LetsTalkFND. If you have been diagnosed with FND, consider sharing your story to let other FND patients know that they are not alone.

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International FND Awareness Day, international observances, awareness days, functional neurological disorder, FND Hope