Ann Psychiatr Clin Neurosci | Volume 1, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Screening for Pseudobulbar Affect in an Outpatient Mental Health Clinic

Kishen Bera1*, Drunalini Perera2 and Negar Haghighimehmandari2

1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California Riverside, USA
2Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of California Irvine, USA

*Correspondance to: Kishen Bera 

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Objective: Pseudo Bulbar Affect (PBA) is a neurological condition affecting the brain, characterized by frequent, uncontrollable laughing/crying episodes unrelated to mood/social context and are often disruptive, embarrassing, leading to social isolation and impaired quality of life. Symptoms of mood disorders often overlap with that of PBA and hence often misdiagnosed as clinical depression. Our main objective was to determine if the Center for Neurologic Study-Liability Scale (CNS-LS) could be a valuable primary tool for clinicians to use in the outpatient mental health clinics to screen for PBA.
Methods: A total of 223 patients ages ranging from 18-80 were administered the CNS-LS in an outpatient mental health clinic. A score of 13 or higher is felt to correlate with a high likelihood that PBA may exist.
Results: The average score on the CNS-LS Scale for the 223 patients was 12.72. 44.39% of the patients had a score great than or equal to 13. The three primary diagnoses found in the clinic, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia showed 13.42, 15.21 and 12.88 as average scores on CNS-LS and percentages with scores above or equal to 13 was 47.19, 54.76 and 40.63 respectively.
Conclusion: To our knowledge our study is the first screening for PBA utilizing the CNS-LS Scale in a general outpatient psychiatric clinic. The high prevalence of positive screening in this study population suggests that with new pharmacologic treatments now available for treating PBA, regular assessments may result in improved outcomes for patients in an outpatient mental health setting.


Bera K, Perera D, Haghighimehmandari N. Screening for Pseudobulbar Affect in an Outpatient Mental Health Clinic. Ann Psychiatr Clin Neurosci. 2018;1(1):1004.

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