A case study of a patient screened for pseudobulbar affective (PBA) disorder was published in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

This case focused on reporting for PBA disorder in a 29-year-old male with bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual developmental disability who was presented with extreme, uncontrolled emotional outbursts requiring continuous family isolation (pre-COVID-19) for safety. After positive screening for PBA, the patient underwent treated with a glutamatergic drug, dextromethorphan/quinidine.

According to the results, two years following the initiation of treatment, the PBA screening score was reduced, uncontrolled outbursts and aggression have subsided, and the family can spend time outside of their home, the researchers noted.

“Neurodegeneration and its impact is being researched and treated with medications affecting glutamate. The addition of a glutamatergic medication to this young man’s medication regimen has improved both his and his family’s quality of life,” the researchers concluded.

“The importance of nurses’ understanding of glutamate, its synthesis, transmission, and dysfunction causing excitotoxicity and brain cell death and its impact on patients’ behavior and safety is explained [in this study],” they added.

Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34238041/

Keywords: glutamatergic dysfunction, neurocognitive degeneration, severe chronic psychiatric illness