Pseudobulbar affect

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a medical condition characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of crying, laughing or other emotional displays. An episode of PBA can occur at any time, even in inappropriate social situations. PBA is common in stroke survivors or people with other neurologic conditions such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) or traumatic brain injury. It is thought to affect more than 1 million people in the U.S. PBA is often mistaken for depression, causing it to be underdiagnosed, undertreated and sometimes treated inappropriately. Medications such as the combination of dextromethorphan and quinidine have been effective in treating this condition.Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.

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