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This monograph summarizes the proceedings of a roundtable meeting convened to discuss pseudobulbar affect (PBA). Two didactic lectures were presented, followed by a moderated discussion among 11 participants. Post-meeting manuscript development synthesized didactic- and discussion-based content and incorporated additional material from the neuroscience literature. A conceptual framework with which to distinguish between disorders of mood and affect is presented first, and disorders of affect regulation are then reviewed briefly. A detailed description of the most common of these disorders, PBA, is the focus of the remainder of the monograph. The prevalence, putative neuranatomic and neurochemical bases of PBA are reviewed, and current and emerging methods of evaluation and treatment of persons with PBA are discussed. The material presented in this monograph will help clinicians better recognize, diagnose, and treat PBA, and will form a foundation for understanding and interpreting future studies of this condition.
Uncontrollable episodes of emotional expression occur in a variety of neurological conditions. This emotional disinhibition syndrome is characterized by episodes of crying or laughing that are unrelated to or out of proportion to the eliciting stimulus. This syndrome is common among patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and traumatic brain injury and a variety of terms and definitions have been used to describe it. The confusing nomenclature has been a barrier to understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of this disorder. The authors propose a unifying term, involuntary emotional expression disorder (IEED), and provide diagnostic criteria for this disorder.