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The Differential Diagnosis of Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA): Distinguishing PBA Among Disorders of Mood and Affect

  • David B. Arciniegas (a1), Edward C. Lauterbach (a2), David L. Ginsberg, Karen E. Anderson (a3), Tiffany W. Chow (a4), Laura A. Flashman (a5), Robin A. Hurley (a6), Daniel I. Kaufer (a7), Thomas W. McAllister (a8), Alison Reeve (a9), Randolph B. Schiffer (a10) and Jonathan M. Silver (a11)...

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.

Corresponding author
David B. Arciniegas, MD, Neuropsychiatry Service, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Campus Box C268-25, 4200 East Ninth Ave, Denver, CO 80211; Tel: 303-315-5365; Fax:, 303-315-5641; E-mail:,
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