Neuronal Dysregulation in Stroke-Associated Pseudobulbar Aff | 46381

Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology

ISSN - 2155-9562


Neuronal Dysregulation in Stroke-Associated Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA): Diagnostic Scales and Current Treatment Options

Paul A Lapchak

Until recently, there was little understanding of the exact pathophysiology and treatment choices for stroke patients with Pseudobulbar affect (PBA). PBA is typically characterized by outbursts or uncontrollable laughing or crying and in the majority of patients, the outbursts being involuntary and incompatible with the patients’ emotional state. PBA is a behavioral syndrome reported to be displayed in 28-52% of stroke patients with first or multiple strokes, and incidence may be higher in patients who have had prior stroke events, and higher in females. There is typically involvement of glutaminergic, serotoninergic and dopaminergic neuronal circuits of the cortico-limbic-subcorticothalamic-pontocerebellar network. PBA is now understood to be a disinhibition syndrome in which specific pathways involving serotonin and glutamate are disrupted or modulated causing reduced cortical inhibition of a cerebellar/brainstem-situated “emotional” laughing or crying focal center. Stroke-induced disruption of one or more neuronal pathway circuits may “disinhibit” voluntary laughing and crying making the process involuntary. With a “new” treatment currently being marketed to treat PBA patients, this article will delve into the neurological and physiological basis for PBA in stroke, and review progress with the diagnosis and treatment of PBA.