Pseudobulbar Affect is Common in Older ALS Patients

Uncontrollable outbursts of crying and laughter in neurologic disorders are termed pseudobulbar affect (PBA). PBAs are thought to occur due to injury to pathways that regulate emotional expression, and are a secondary consequence of several neurological disorders. In the largest study to screen for PBA to date, led by David Crumpacker from the Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, it appears that this condition is more common than previously thought. The study, reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, screened 5,290 patients with one of six neurological conditions: ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and traumatic brain injury. Prevalence of PBA symptoms in patients over 65 year old was 27.4%, with the highest rate among ALS patients, while in patients younger than 65 years the prevalence was as high as 49.5%. The FDA approved medication Nuedexta can partially alleviate these symptoms. Click here to read more.

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