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Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. hosted a special screening of the first-ever documentary film on living with PseudoBulbar affect (PBA), “Beyond Laughter and Tears, A Journey of Hope”, during the American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual meeting in Atlanta on May 16, 2016.
The documentary was created by Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Otsuka subsidiary, in order to “shine a spotlight on PBA and the vast community it impacts, hopefully creating a greater awareness of PBA that may inspire people who suffer from this condition or their loved ones to seek help,” according to the website devoted to the film, www.pbafilm.com
PBA is a neurologic condition characterized by uncontrollable, sudden outbursts of crying and/or laughing that don’t match what a person is feeling on the inside. Approximately 2 million Americans may suffer from PBA.
PBA occurs when certain neurologic conditions or brain injuries damage areas of the brain involved in crying and/or laughing. Because PBA is a prevalent, yet under-recognized and undertreated condition, Avanir is bringing together the mental health community to raise awareness of PBA and how it affects patients’ lives.
Beyond Laughter and Tears is the first documentary film to examine the daily struggle of Americans who live with PBA. It chronicles the lives of six people dealing with PBA, a secondary condition prevalent among people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, stroke or certain other diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. To the six cast members, finally getting a diagnosis meant so much to them. Each of them talked about wanting to help others with PBA because they had so much trouble getting a diagnosis themselves.