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Drug study: Controlling PBA in dementia

June 9, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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A new drug study has demonstrated “significant improvement” for people who have pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a condition that causes uncontrollable outbursts of laughing or crying. PBA is often found in those who have experienced a brain injury, neurological damage from a stroke or dementia, and neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

The PRISM II study, whose results were published online in BMC Journal, tracked 367 participants at multiple study centers, focusing on studying the efficacy of the drug in people with traumatic brain injury, stroke or dementia. Participants were given the drug NUEDEXTA for 90 days and evaluated during the 90-day span for changes in outburst frequency. Other measures included the Mini-Mental State Examination, Center for Neurologic Study–Lability Scale (CNS-LS), quality of life assessments, imoression of change assessments and mood questionnaires.

After the 90-day treatment period, participants had PBA-related outbursts reduced by 72.6 percent, or from 12 episodes per week to just two. Participants also saw “much improved” global impression of change scores and significant improvement in CNS-LS scores.

NUEDEXTA, manufactured by Avanir Pharmaceuticals, is a combination drug containing dextromethorphan hydrobromide and quinidine sulfate. It is currently the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of PBA.

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