Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a neurological condition that is characterized by sudden, uncontrollable expressions of laughter or crying. This type of emotional behavior is difficult to control voluntarily and can be extremely distressing to those who experience it.

Nuedexta® (dextromethorphan hydrobromide and quinidine sulfate) is the only FDA-approved treatment specifically for PBA at this time. Some doctors may prescribe certain antidepressant medications, typically at a lower dose than when used for depression. While medications may help to manage the symptoms of PBA, they do not cure its underlying cause.

Overview and Symptoms of PBA

Causes of PBA

Options for Treating PBA

Updated in August 2023 by Dr. Barry Hendin, MSAA Chief Medical Officer
Original content by Dr. Miriam Franco MSW, PsyD, MSCS

Go to Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Management

Go to Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Listing

Go to Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Medications