October 4, 2011

Five Clues That Your Loved Ones Uncontrollable Emotional Outbursts Are Not Depression but Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA):

Filed under: Alzheimer's — seniorlivingguide @ 10:46 am
  • The patient bursts out crying or laughing for no apparent reason.
  • The patient cries or laughs at inappropriate times.
  • The patient experiences outbursts of emotion that are exaggerated or inappropriate for the situation.
  • Patients can’t control their tears or laughter, even when they try to.
  • Patients socially isolate themselves out of fear of having an episode in public.

To learn more about PBA, please visit www.pbainfo.org and talk with your neurologist or primary care doctor about you or a loved one’s symptoms.

What is PBA?

PBA is a neurological condition that affects people with an existing primary neurological condition, like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), stroke or traumatic brain injury. People with PBA have sudden outbursts of involuntary emotional displays they cannot control.


Charles Darwin first described this health condition now known as PBA more than 130 years ago, but many patients and members of the medical community don’t realize that this debilitating disorder may affect approximately 2 million people in the U.S. The episodes of involuntary crying and/or laughing occur unpredictably, and can be frequent and severe. Since laughter and crying are two of the most basic human emotions, it’s extremely difficult for people with PBA to interact with others without being able to have control over these emotions, which often leads to social isolation.


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