Involuntary laughing or crying? – PBA & MS

Ever started laughing uncontrollably and for no reason?? It happened to me just a few weeks ago…I simply couldn’t stop…and now I just read an article in Medical News Today (14.04.2010) that talks about PBA – the pseudobulbar affect. Here, I gathered the most relevant things from the article:

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a neurologic condition of involuntary, sudden and frequent episodes of laughing or crying and is quite common in patients with underlying neurologic diseases or injuries, especially those with multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

A novel investigational treatment may help stop these involuntary outbursts, which might damage the MSers or ALSers social functioning and overall quality of life..

The study in patients diagnosed with PBA tested the effectiveness of a combination of two medications, dextromethorphan and low dose quinidine. The combination of the drugs is known as DMQ.

The study demonstrated improvements in the patients tested. The study’s author MD. PhD Pioro said that the findings “represent the first long-term results showing DMQ is effective in helping to control this debilitating condition afflicting patients with neurologic diseases or injuries“.

In addition, there are no FDA approved treatments for PBA. This makes it problematic for PBA affected patients as the currently used off-label treatments are often ineffective or may have unacceptable side-effects.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. maggsbunny
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 00:08:42

    I went through a phase some years ago. Didn’t care for it much. One episode in particular that I remember was when some work colleagues came to visit me at home while I was on sick-leave. I started laughing at something quite inappropriate and just couldn’t stop. It was horrible!


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