Pseudobulbar Affect Is Common in Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans With TBI



PHILADELPHIA—Between 60% and 70% of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who screened positive for traumatic brain injury (TBI) have symptoms of pseudobulbar affect (PBA), according to data presented at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Compared with those without PBA symptoms, veterans with PBA symptoms have higher rates of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and use antidepressants, opioids, sedatives, and antiepileptic drugs more often.

Jennifer R. Fonda, a researcher at the Translational Research Center for Traumatic Brain Injury and Stress Disorders in the VA Boston Healthcare System, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study during which they searched VA clinical and demographic databases for veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn who screened positive for TBI and who were receiving care from a VA facility in New England.

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