Pseudobulbar Affect | About PBA

About PseudoBulbarAffect - PBA

Sudden, unpredictable episodes of crying or laughing can be a result of a neurologic condition called PseudoBulbar Affect - PBA.

Many people who suffer from PBA describe their episodes as uncontrollable, exaggerated, or different from their true feelings.

PBA can occur when certain neurologic diseases or injuries damage the areas of the brain that control normal expression of emotion. This damage can disrupt brain signaling, causing a ‘short circuit’, which results in episodes of involuntary crying or laughing. 

About PseudoBulbarAffect - PBA

Your doctor may have called PBA by another name, such as pathological crying and laughing or emotional incontinence.  Sometimes PBA is mistaken for depression, but unlike depression PBA episodes are sudden, unpredictable and may not truly reflect how a person feels.

Who gets PBA?

Although you may not have heard of PBA, it is fairly common. Nearly two million Americans with underlying neurologic diseases or brain injuries are also estimated to suffer from PBA.

PBA can occur in people diagnosed with an underlying neurologic condition such as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)