Therapeutic Approach of a High Functioning Individual With Traumatic Brain Injury and Subsequent Emotional Volatility With Features of Pathological Laughter and Crying With Dextromethorphan/Quinidine.Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Mar; 95(12):e2886.M
Pathological laughing and crying, or pseudobulbar affect (PBA), has been described in patients with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injury (TBI) since the 19th century (Schiffer 2005). The syndrome is characterized by inappropriate episodes of laughing or crying after minor stimuli. It was first coined a disinhibition of cortical control by Kinnier Wilson in 1924. It was observed in brain disease and seen with mild TBI. It can impair social and occupational function and is largely underrecognized in clinical settings. PBA is usually treated with antidepressants and dopaminergic agents. In this case we treated a military recruit with TBI with Nuedexta-a dextromethorphan/Quinidine derivative with a subsequent decrease in his episodes.