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What causes pseudobulbar affect in multiple sclerosis (MS)?

The exact cause of pseudobulbar affect (PBA) -- episodes of uncontrollable laughing and/or crying that may be inappropriate -- is not understood but it is generally accepted that PBA may occur when disease or injury damages the area of the brain that controls normal expression of emotion. This damage can disrupt brain signaling causing a "short circuit," triggering episodes of involuntary emotional expression. This might happen with a disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS), which has the potential to disrupt nerve transmissions throughout the body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.