PBA is a neurologic condition involving frequent, sudden, and uncontrollable crying and/or laughing28

Brain lesions resulting from certain neurologic diseases or injuries may disrupt the neurocircuitry regulating expression of crying and/or laughing28

People with PBA may have a disconnect between affective display (expression of emotion) and inner feelings/current mood (experience of emotion)28

People with PBA have a disconnect between affect (expression of emotion) and mood (inner feelings)


Uncovering PBA and associated crying

PBA episodes may appear as13,14:

Disproportionate to the situation and/or mood Episodes can occur spontaneously and involuntarily, with little or no visible reason
Inconsistent with or opposite to a person’s mood Lasting seconds to minutes; sudden onset and no wind down

Crying may appear as or with24,42,45:

Weeping with or
without tears
Sobbing or wailing
Inarticulate sounds Facial grimacing
In the nursing home, many residents may not be able to communicate.
Crying may not be “crying” as commonly known. It can be accompanied
by grimacing, other facial expressions, and vocalizations34,45