Explaining Unpredictable Emotional Episodes
Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a medical condition characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of crying or laughing. It is sometimes referred to as emotional lability, pathological crying and laughing oremotional incontinence. An episode of PBA can occur at any time, even in inappropriate social situations.
PBA can occur in stroke survivors or people with other neurologic conditions such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) or traumatic brain injury. It is thought to affect more than 1 million people in the U.S. PBA is often mistaken for depression, causing it to be underdiagnosed, undertreated and sometimes inappropriately treated.
Only a doctor can diagnose PBA. However, the Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS), developed by healthcare professionals, can help you assess whether you have symptoms of PBA. Your answers to this simple seven-question scale will help you determine whether to talk to your healthcare provider about PBA. A CNS-LS score of 13 or higher may suggest PBA.
When you are finished completing the scale, you will receive recommendations for how you can talk to your doctor based on your score.
This scale is not intended as a substitute for professional medical assessment and/or advice. Please consult your healthcare provider.