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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 21;8(8):e72232. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072232. eCollection 2013.

PRISM: a novel research tool to assess the prevalence of pseudobulbar affect symptoms across neurological conditions.

Author information

1
Carolinas Medical Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine-Charlotte Campus, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a neurological condition characterized by involuntary, sudden, and frequent episodes of laughing and/or crying, which can be socially disabling. Although PBA occurs secondary to many neurological conditions, with an estimated United States (US) prevalence of up to 2 million persons, it is thought to be under-recognized and undertreated. The PBA Registry Series (PRISM) was established to provide additional PBA symptom prevalence data in a large, representative US sample of patients with neurological conditions known to be associated with PBA.

METHODS:

Participating clinicians were asked to enroll ≥20 consenting patients with any of 6 conditions: Alzheimer's disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), stroke, or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Patients (or their caregivers) completed the Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS) and an 11-point scale measuring impact of the neurological condition on the patient's quality of life (QOL). Presence of PBA symptoms was defined as a CNS-LS score ≥13. Demographic data and current use of antidepressant or antipsychotic medications were also recorded.

RESULTS:

PRISM enrolled 5290 patients. More than one third of patients (n = 1944; 36.7%) had a CNS-LS score ≥13, suggesting PBA symptoms. The mean (SD) score measuring impact of neurological condition on QOL was significantly higher (worse) in patients with CNS-LS ≥13 vs <13 (6.7 [2.5] vs. 4.7 [3.1], respectively; P<0.0001 two-sample t-test). A greater percentage of patients with CNS-LS ≥13 versus <13 were using antidepressant/antipsychotic medications (53.0% vs 35.4%, respectively; P<0.0001, chi-square test).

CONCLUSIONS:

Data from PRISM, the largest clinic-based study to assess PBA symptom prevalence, showed that PBA symptoms were common among patients with diverse neurological conditions. Higher CNS-LS scores were associated with impaired QOL and greater use of antipsychotic/antidepressant medications. These data underscore a need for greater awareness, recognition, and diagnosis of PBA.

PMID:
23991068
PMCID:
PMC3749118
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0072232
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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