Why TBI 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 traumatic brain injury (TBI).
48% of TBI patients
have symptoms that may suggest PBA, according to a survey of 326 TBI patients (or their caregivers).**
Based on this data, almost
2.5 million TBI 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 Amy
Amy is a TBI survivor living with PBA.
Amy suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a major accident. She recounted having crying and laughing episodes at the hospital and the doctors telling her that it was a result of her brain injury. “I didn’t know if I was ever going to get over it.”
Laura, Amy’s best friend and caregiver, was there to support her from day one. “We first started talking about PBA before we even knew what it was, before Amy was able to recognize what was going on with her,” Laura said.
Amy’s episodes would come on suddenly and at the most inconvenient times, like on Thanksgiving at her neighbor’s house. “I had a mouthful of food, and I spit it out all over the table because I started laughing.”
“There was nothing funny said,” Laura added. “It was just a reaction, and we were both kind of puzzled by it.”
Then Amy saw a commercial about PBA that changed everything for her. “It was like the sky opened. I finally knew the name for it.” She made an appointment with her primary care physician and received a diagnosis for PBA.
Now Amy hopes to encourage others to speak to their healthcare provider about the episodes they may be experiencing. “PBA is a real condition that you can do something about,” she said.
Amy is a real patient and has been compensated.
Take the PBA Quiz
Have you or a loved one suffered from a TBI 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 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.
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: