Pseudobulbar affect

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Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a form of emotional liability that causes sudden, inappropriate, uncontrollable laughing or crying which does not usually reflect the person's mood.[1] It is sometimes referred to as involuntary emotional expression, emotional incontinence, or uncontrollable laughing and crying.[2] PBA is a neurological disorder that is often mistaken for depression.[1]

Causes[edit | edit source]

Pseudobulbar affect is typically caused by neurological diseases or injuries including multiple sclerosis, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), traumatic brain injury (a head injury causing loss of consciousness), or Parkinson's disease.[1][3] The emotional outbursts caused by PBA may last up to several minutes, and are different from how the person would normally have responded, and may occur in response to even mild or neutral stimuli.[1] Crying is more common than laughing, and laughing may turn into crying.[4]

Depression[edit | edit source]

Pseudobulbar affect is often mistaken for depression, but in-between emotional outbrusts the person's mood is normal.[4]

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Nuedexta was approved by the FDA in 2010, and certain antidepressants may also be helpful, for example SSRIs and TCAs.[1][4] Combined dextromethorphan and quinidine may also be used.[5]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Lochhead, Jeannie D.; Maguire, Gerald A.; Nelson, Michele A. (July 31, 2018). "Pseudobulbar Affect Versus Depression: Issues in Diagnosis and Treatment". Psychiatric Times. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  2. Ripley, David L.; Driver, Sangeeta; Stork, Ryan; Maneyapanda, Mithra (January 1, 2019). Eapen, Blessen C.; Cifu, David X. (eds.). Chapter 11 - Pharmacologic Management of the Patient With Traumatic Brain Injury. Elsevier. pp. 133–163. ISBN 978-0-323-54456-6.
  3. Savitz, Sean I.; Ronthal, Michael (November 1, 2008). Neurology Review for Psychiatrists. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-7817-6666-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Pseudobulbar affect Disease Reference Guide". Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  5. "Dextromethorphan and quinidine Uses, Side Effects & Warnings". Retrieved March 9, 2021.