Symposium Brings Debilitating Neurological Condition into Focus for Geriatric Professionals

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 20, 2004--A symposium addressing pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a condition that may affect more than 1 million people with neurological diseases, was held yesterday in conjunction with the 2004 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society.

A distinguished panel was gathered for the accredited Continuing Medical Education (CME) symposium entitled, "Uncontrollable Laughter or Crying in Geriatric Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases or Stroke: Pseudobulbar Affect." The symposium was led by moderator Peter J. Whitehouse, MD, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University and the University Hospitals of Cleveland, and included Dr. Daniel Weintraub and Dr. John Duda, both faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Dr. Leo McCloskey of the Penn Neurological Institute.

Topics under discussion included the disorder itself, its detection, diagnosis and treatment. A major focus of the discourse was practical management of patients in the primary care setting, including working through the differential diagnosis to identify patients with PBA. The panelists also discussed current theories regarding the neuropathological factors of PBA, and the common patterns of neuronal loss in different diseases that produce similar symptoms in patients who suffer from PBA.

PBA affects a diverse population of patients with neurologic disorders, including those with Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS, Parkinson's and those with neuronal damage following stroke or traumatic brain injury. While the underlying causes of PBA vary from patient to patient, those with the condition experience uncontrolled emotional outbursts and inappropriate responses to social interactions.

The accredited CME symposium was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from AVANIR Pharmaceuticals (AMEX:AVN). It was the third event in a series of live symposia discussing PBA and increasing doctor and patient awareness of the condition, its diagnosis and treatment.

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals is a drug discovery and development company focused on the development of treatments for chronic diseases. Further information about AVANIR can be found at

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CONTACT: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals
Patrice Saxon, 858-622-5202 (Investor Relations)

SOURCE: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals