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Very rapid fluctuations in intensity and modality of emotions; seen in the affective reaction or in certain organic brain disorders.



in physiology, functional mobility; the speed of flow of elementary cycles of excitation in nerve and muscle tissues.

The concept of lability was introduced by the Russian physiologist N. E. Vvedenskii (1886), who considered its measure to be the greatest frequency of tissue irritation possible without a change in rhythm. A tissue’s lability reflects the time necessary to restore the tissue’s work capacity after an excitation cycle. The greatest lability is found in the processes of the nerve cells, the axons, which are capable of reproducing as many as 500 or 1,000 impulses per sec. The central and peripheral sites of contact, or synapses, are less labile (for example, a motor nerve ending can transmit no more than 100–150 excitations per sec to a skeletal muscle).

Inhibition of the vital activities of tissues and cells (for example, by means of cold or narcotics) decreases lability, since the restorative processes are retarded thereby and the refractory period prolonged. The lability value is variable. Thus, the refractory period is shortened in the heart under the influence of frequent stimuli: its lability is increased. This phenomenon is the basis for what is called the assimilation of rhythm. The concept of lability is important to an understanding of the mechanisms of nervous activity, and of the operation of the neural centers and analyzers under both normal and pathological conditions.

In biology and medicine, the term “lability” refers to instability or variability, such as of the psyche, the physiological state, the pulse, or the body temperature.


Vvedenskii, N. E. Poln. sobr. soch, vols. 1–2. Leningrad, 1951–52.
Ukhtomskii, A. A. Sobr. sock, vol. 2. Leningrad, 1951.
Golikov, N. V. Fiziologicheskaia labil’nost’ i ee izmeneniia priosnovnykh nervnykh protsessakh. Leningrad, 1950.


References in periodicals archive ?
If they experience symptoms or emotional lability, patients should use the assessment tool questions to score their feelings/emotions, speak up and let their provider know about the symptoms, and think about getting additional support (eg, join a support group, enlist the help of a therapist).
Table 1 The study of PBA has yielded a long list of descriptive terms Affective lability Emotional dyscontrol Emotional dysregulation Emotional incontinence Emotional lability Emotionalism Excessive emotionality Forced laughter or crying Inappropriate hilarity Involuntary emotional expression disorder Labile affect Pathological affect Pathological laughter and crying Pathological weeping Pseudobulbar crying PBA: pseudobulbar affect Source: Reference 4 Table 2 Prevalence of PBA in the 6 most common underlying disease states CNS-LS [greater than or equal CNS-LS [greater to] 21 (%) than or equal [consistent with to] 13 (%) moderate or [consistent with severe PBA] symptoms of PBA] N Traumatic brain 16.
25) Additionally, the use of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers (lamotrigine and topiramate) appears to be somewhat effective for managing emotional lability and impulsivity.
While she felt her ongoing emotional lability was somehow connected to this incident, recent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) had failed to find any significant abnormalities apart from some middle-ear disturbance on the right side.
Miller points out that while this kind of emotional lability often happens in response to outside events, it can also happen spontaneously without any apparent triggers.
In our sample we have almost the same percentage of emotional lability for teachers from urban, rural and high schools.
Patent number 8,227,484, entitled "Pharmaceutical Compositions Comprising Dextromethorphan and Quinidine for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders," claims methods for treating pseudobulbar affect or emotional lability using low-dose quinidine formulations of NUEDEXTA.
At that time a transient run of atrial fibrillation was noted on the cardiac monitor and, on direct questioning, the patient reported having palpitations, heat intolerance, emotional lability and weight loss of 20 kg in the preceding six months.
Neurological examination showed her to be conscious and orientated, but she had bouts of irrelevant crying and emotional lability, indicating personality change.
Headache, vomiting, hemiplegia vertigo, mental retardation or emotional lability are the other findings.
Some of these deficits can include; hyperactivity, distractibility, impulsivity, anxiety, emotional lability, low self-esteem, aggressive behaviors, difficulty recognizing the emotions of others, and other socially unacceptable behaviors.
This is a common prescription for PMS--the differentiating symptoms for which include depression, emotional lability with a rapid alternation between sadness and anger, a feeling of abandonment, an appearance of being cool and aloof, and a deep sense of hurt.