Why patients with MS
should care about PBA

Pseudobulbar Affect, or PBA, is a condition that causes uncontrollable crying and/or laughing that happens suddenly and frequently. It can happen in people with a brain injury or certain neurologic conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS).

46% of patients

have symptoms that may suggest PBA, according to a survey of 504 patients (or their caregivers).**


Based on this data, almost

185,000 patients

in the US have symptoms suggestive of PBA.*

*When considering patients with any of 6 common neurologic conditions associated with PBA, it is estimated that 37%, or an estimated 7.1 million Americans, have symptoms suggestive of PBA as defined by a CNS-LS (Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale) score ≥13 and 9.4% of patients, or an estimated 1.8 million Americans, with CNS-LS scores ≥21. The presence of PBA symptoms was defined as a CNS-LS score ≥13 and a more restrictive definition was also evaluated using CNS-LS ≥21. The CNS-LS was validated as a PBA screening tool in ALS and MS populations. A CNS-LS score ≥13 merits further diagnostic assessment.

**Work SS, Colamonico JA, Bradley WG, Kaye RE. Pseudobulbar affect: an under-recognized and under-treated neurological disorder. Adv Ther. 2011;28:586-601.

Get to know Connie

Connie is a patient living with MS and PBA.

Connie was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and around that time, she also started to experience episodes of uncontrollable laughing and crying. Those episodes impacted her interactions with friends, family, even co-workers.

Connie worked in a laboratory as a microbiologist, and there were certain situations that could cause an episode. “Having one of my experiments fail would trigger an uncontrollable crying episode,” Connie said. She felt her boss and work colleagues weren’t very sympathetic to what she was going through.

She also experienced laughing episodes, including one that disrupted the funeral of a family member. Connie recalled, “I remember I was at my great aunt’s funeral, and I had a laughing episode. Through the whole eulogy, I was trying to get it under control, and I just couldn’t.”

As a PBA Ambassador, Connie wants to help spread awareness of the condition, so more people talk about their episodes with their healthcare providers. “PBA is misunderstood, and it’s something that doesn’t need to be.”

Connie, patient with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

PBA is misunderstood, and it’s something that doesn’t need to be.

Connie is a real patient and has been compensated.

Take the PBA Quiz

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with MS and are now experiencing uncontrollable crying and/or laughing episodes? Take the PBA Quiz and share the results with your healthcare provider.

The PBA Quiz

Could you or someone you care for have Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)?

PBA can happen in people with a brain injury or certain neurologic conditions. Take this 7-question quiz to help determine if you or your loved one is experiencing symptoms that could suggest PBA.

Eligible participants will have access to multiple resources once they receive their results, including the opportunity to participate in PBA Nurse Talk*.


The PBA Quiz is based on the Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS). This assessment was developed by healthcare professionals to help doctors determine whether a person is having PBA symptoms. It has been validated in ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and MS (Multiple Sclerosis) patient populations. The PBA Quiz is not a diagnostic tool and is not intended to substitute professional medical assessment and/or advice. Only a healthcare provider can diagnosis PBA.

*PBA Nurse Talk is sponsored by Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is committed to supporting those who may be suffering from PBA. This program is offered at no cost to those eligible, does not require health insurance, and does not replace speaking with a healthcare provider – only a healthcare provider can diagnose PBA. PBA Nurse Talk conversations will remain completely confidential. PBA Nurse Talk is only available to people experiencing uncontrollable crying and/or laughing, not their caregivers.

Talk to your healthcare provider about PBA

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider and use our appointment checklist to prepare for your conversation. The specialties listed below may be familiar with diagnosing and treating PBA:

  • Neurologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Internist
  • Physiatrist