Why stroke survivors
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 stroke.

28% of patients

have symptoms that may suggest PBA, according to a survey of 500 patients (or their caregivers).**


Based on this data, almost

1.5 million 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 Jim

Jim is a survivor living with PBA.

Jim suffered from two strokes in 2013. While he was still in the hospital recovering, he began to experience episodes of uncontrollable crying and laughing. His wife and caregiver Marilyn was there to witness it all. “I remember one of our friends came to visit and he had some pretty bad episodes, so we knew something was wrong.

Fortunately for Jim, his psychiatrist recognized the signs of PBA and diagnosed him right away. “Having a name put on the issue gave me hope,” he said.

Before having his strokes and PBA episodes, Jim rarely got emotional. Afterward, little things like seeing cute animals or heartwarming stories would trigger uncontrollable crying and laughing, sometimes at the same time.

Marilyn explained how PBA has changed Jim’s behavior. “I think the difference is, before the stroke, he could stop laughing or crying anytime he wanted to. After the stroke, that totally changed. This is something he can’t control once it comes on.”

“PBA can be frustrating because you’re not sad, despite how it looks,” Jim said.

Jim, patient with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

PBA can be frustrating because you're not sad, despite how it looks.

Jim is a real patient and has been compensated.

Take the PBA Quiz

Have you or a loved one suffered from a stroke 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