"Beyond Laughter and Tears," a documentary about Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) premieres in Washington, D.C. presented by the Brain Injury Association of America and Avanir

Mar 14, 2016, 14:35 ET from Brain Injury Association of America from ,Avanir

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

"I'm at my grandma's funeral. I just sat there…I'm trying to cry, but bust out laughing. They're like, Kirk is really crazy. That hurt the most looking back at it, especially now,"- Kirk Johnson, suffering from PBA.

Since he was a child, Houston native, Kirk Johnson believed he was destined to fly airplanes.  He spent long hours at the airport, watching planes take off and land.  He made friends with pilots and ground crew and air traffic controllers.   And as soon as he was old enough, he began flight training.  A stroke derailed his plans.  Having lost control over the fine movements required to pilot an airplane, Kirk knew the path to the cockpit would be a long, arduous one.  But it wasn't just the stroke he was dealing with.  Suddenly, he'd find himself laughing at the oddest moments.  "He was always a happy child and so forth and he still is, thank God. But if you tend to talk to Kirk over a period of time you'll start seeing the excessive laughing come out," VanKirk Sr., Kirk's father.

"Beyond Laughter and Tears" is the first documentary film to examine the daily struggle of Americans who live with PBA, a neurological condition that causes uncontrolled bouts of crying and/or laughing.  BYLT chronicles the lives of six people dealing with PBA (Pseudobulbar Affect), a secondary condition prevalent among people who've suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury or stroke or certain other diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.  Over half of Americans suffering from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) have symptoms suggestive of PBA and merit further diagnostic assessment.

"'PBA is a socially isolating condition, even more so when it has not been properly diagnosed or treated.' The Brain Injury Association of America is pleased to partner with Avanir and the PBA Film Project to bring 'Beyond Laughter and Tears' to the attention of policymakers in Washington, D.C.," said Susan Connors, Brain Injury Association of America President/Chief Executive Officer.

Former TODAY SHOW health and fitness correspondent, Jenna Wolfe will interview Kirk after the screening.

Event will be held on March 15, 2016 at Union Station, Washington, DC.
Cocktail reception at 6:00pm.
Screening at 7:00pm.

SOURCE Brain Injury Association of America; Avanir