What is pseudobulbar affect (PBA)? PBA is a condition characterized by episodes of uncontrollable laughing and/or crying that may be inappropriate, unrelated to the situation at hand, or not expressing the person's mood. The condition is known by other terms, including emotional lability, emotional incontinence, and pathological laughing and crying.
PBA is associated with neurologic disorders that may include, but are not limited to multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), dementias including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
How many people live with PBA? A significant percentage of patients with neurologic disorders also suffer from PBA - estimates of frequency range from 10 percent to 50 percent. More than one million people may suffer from PBA in the United States alone.