Wednesday, December 11, 2013

BRAIN CORNER: A Clinical Trial to Help Control Emotions

Many individuals who have experienced a brain injury, stroke, or dementia/memory loss have difficulty regulating their emotions.  Sufferers find they have exaggerated emotions or have the urge to express an emotion at an inappropriate time. The common types of emotions include crying and laughing; some may experience both laughing and crying, while others experience just one of the two.  This happens because  brain injury, stroke and dementia can damage the pathways in the brain responsible for emotional regulation.  The medical term for this exaggerated or out of context laughing and crying due to a neurological event is called Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) or emotional liability. 
            An example of PBA includes sobbing during a slightly sad event, while someone with a healthy brain would merely respond to the sad event with a sigh. Another example of PBA would be laughing uncontrollably during a casual conversation at the dinner table. To learn more about PBA and to get a free “PBA Facts Kit” click here. You can also see what is is like to have a PBA episode by clicking on the following link and selecting the "view our commercial" tab. 

Dr. Carol Lippa at DrexelUniversity College of Medicine  is hosting a clinical trial for individuals with a brain injury, stroke, or dementia/memory loss that is associated with PBA.  Participants in this clinical trial will take a medication that is fully (FDA) approved for PBA due to other causes.  This is a 3 month, open label study so everyone receives the medication.  It requires only 3 visits to the clinic and all costs are covered, including the cost of the medication.  Participants will be reimbursed for their time and travel expenses.  Additional details can be found here. Nuedexta has been previously studied in MS and ALS populations and a scientific paper describing the results of previous clinical trials can be found here.  To learn more about this clinical trial, please contact Kate Bowen at 215-762-1776.  If you are unfamiliar with a clinical trial, visit our previous BrainCorner Blog Post that describes exactly what a clinical trial is and what you can expect.