FUNCTIONAL Neurological Disorder needs FUNCTIONAL MRI's!

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Today, I had my appointment with the neurologist, it's the first one since the initial diagnosis of Functional Neurological Disorder, or FND as it is more commonly known, in December. In between December and now I have researched and educated myself about this disorder and I have come across what's called a functional MRI (fMRI) which is able to identify areas in the brain that are effected. So with this knowledge I went in and asked for an fMRI only to be informed by my neurologist that there are only 3 neurologists in Australia that have access to a machine such as this and at the moment it is for research purposes only. Considering FND is functional and that behind migraine is the most commonly seen disorder in neurology outpatient clinics, I thought for sure an fMRI would be the most suitable imaging to be performed. I brought this up with the neurologist and he agreed. However, it is something that is unavailable to them as treating professionals, and therefor sufferers of FND, in this moment in time. On finding this out and the conversation that followed I felt I needed to do something not only for me but for the people that are effected by this debilitating, life changing disorder, their families and friends, their communities and society. With the support of my neurologist I'd like to inform the community and to advocate for more education, awareness and a fMRI for people living with FND, their family and friends and the wider community. 

This disorder effects function where those living with FND are unable to function to full capacity in their communities, not only robbing them of a career but their quality of life - it effects the ability to work, which in turn ripples through their community placing strain on individual families. If something can be done it needs to be done and it needs to happen now.

Please help me to advocate for education, awareness and a fMRI people living with FND.