Real Story: Karen

After a long journey, she found an answer

Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can’t be easy—especially when you're raising two kids and studying toward a degree in social work. That’s exactly what Karen was facing in 1995.

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But she never could have anticipated the sudden, frequent, uncontrollable episodes of exaggerated crying and laughing that impacted her life. Karen and her husband Ross were committed to finding an answer. Their journey toward a PBA diagnosis and treatment was a long one, but they never gave up.
Karen, Multiple Sclerosis patient with PBA, taking NUEDEXTA

Karen, Multiple Sclerosis patient with PBA, taking NUEDEXTA.

Karen, makes plans with her husband and caregiver, Ross
Karen, makes plans with her husband and caregiver, Ross

NUEDEXTA really has a significant impact. I feel better not having to worry as much about having an unpredictable episode in public.


Living with MS—and a mystery

Through the years, while working, studying, raising her children, and managing her MS symptoms, Karen also had to cope with those mysterious crying and laughing episodes. “I would hide when I used to have a crying or laughing episode in front of my family or coworkers—I would go to the bathroom and wait it out,” Karen says. “I was very, very embarrassed!”

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Karen looks at photos with her husband and caregiver, Ross

Even through all the challenges, Karen and Ross built a life together.

Karen looks at her husband and caregiver, Ross

With Ross’s support, Karen kept pursuing her education, receiving her Master of Science in Social Administration in 2005.

Discovering PBA

Finally, Karen found a name for the symptoms in an MS forum: PseudoBulbar Affect, also known as PBA—sudden, frequent, uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing that are exaggerated and/or don’t match how the person feels. And in 2009, she and Ross heard about a clinical trial for a drug being studied for the treatment of PBA.

“I wanted to feel comfortable and to stop worrying about the crying and laughing episodes. I had to do something,” says Karen.

Seeing Results with NUEDEXTA

The treatment in that trial became NUEDEXTA. Karen’s been taking NUEDEXTA since it became available for prescription in 2010 to reduce her PBA episodes, under her doctor’s supervision. Reducing her PBA episodes has allowed her to focus on other aspects of her life.

Karen writes in a day planner

Karen and Ross plan their next weekend retreat.

Karen poses as her husband Ross takes a photo
Karen poses as her husband Ross takes a photo

If I had to stop taking NUEDEXTA, I would be upset. I don’t want to go back to worrying so often about suddenly having a PBA episode.


How to talk about PBA

Sign up to get the free PBA Conversation Kit to prepare yourself and the people close to you to talk about the impact of PBA on your lives—and to talk to your doctor.

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Understand the treatment

Learn how to take NUEDEXTA and what to expect during treatment, and review important safety information.

Starting Treatment