Acta Clin Croat. 2015 Jun;54(2):159-63.


The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of pseudobulbar affect (PBA) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and to analyze the link between PBA and patient age, sex, clinical course of MS, disease duration and degree of disability. The study was conducted on 79 MS patients that underwent inpatient rehabilitation at the Lipik Special Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation in the period from August 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. PBA is a term used for an emotional disinhibition syndrome characterized by sudden and involuntary episodes of crying or laughing which are not in proportion to the stimulus applied or occur without stimulus. The condition can be present in patients with various neurological disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, patients having recovered from stroke, or following traumatic brain injury. The estimated prevalence in patients with MS ranges from 10% to 46.2%. As a measuring instrument in the study, we used the Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS), where a sum 17 denoted positive finding. The total number of respondents was 79, of which 33 (41.8%) met the CNS-LS criteria for the diagnosis of PBA. There was no statistically significant correlation between PBA, age and degree of disability, although PBA was more common in women and in patients with a secondary progressive form of the disease. We found that 42.4% of respondents with positive CNS-LS criteria for PBA did not inform their neurologist on the presence of sudden mood changes. The high frequency of PBA and the fact that a significant proportion of patients did not inform the neurologist on their affective disturbances call for an active approach to diagnosis and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Pseudobulbar Palsy / epidemiology
  • Pseudobulbar Palsy / etiology*
  • Pseudobulbar Palsy / rehabilitation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Antipsychotic Agents