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  • Vidyasagar Vangala

PseudoBulbar Affect

Pseudobulbar Affect or PBA is commonly known or named as emotional incontinence, emotional lability, pathological crying or laughter etc.. Its due to a disconnection between internal emotion and external expression of feelings. Very often unrecognized and if not treated effectively and can impair the individual’s ability to function. A person with PBA has difficulty in controlling the emotions-such as laughter or crying, many times its inappropriate to the situation they are in-a minor situation, incident triggers an extreme or uncontrollable reaction, i.e a person may break small vase accidentally and crying, sob uncontrollably for a long time. It can be seen in patients who were diagnosed with Dementia-(more common in frontal lobe dementia), Stroke, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, post head trauma. Also PBA is not same as depression but can coexist with depression especially in patients after suffering a stroke.

How to treat: There are strategies to effectively reduce the symptoms a) learning how to distract one self from the situations when there is a potential incident which could trigger the emotional reaction, b) relaxation, meditation etc. to reduce the stress, c) medication such as Dextromethorphan /Quinidine combination sold as Nuedexta in USA.


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