Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tumor-Like Mass Can Make You Want To Laugh

Date:
February 25, 2000
Source:
American Academy Of Neurology
Summary:
A small tumor-like mass known as a hypothalamic hamartoma can cause patients to feel the desire to laugh, according to a case report in the February 22 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The urge to laugh is not always followed by laughter.

ST. PAUL, MN -- A small tumor-like mass known as a hypothalamic hamartoma can cause patients to feel the desire to laugh, according to a case report in the February 22 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The urge to laugh is not always followed by laughter.

Related Articles


The report tells of three patients with small non-cancerous hamartomas located on the brain's hypothalamus, causing mild epileptic seizures and the unusual pressure-to-laugh feeling. The patients had recurring giggling bouts at a young age that remained into adulthood. Medication was able to stop the seizures, but did not stop the urge to laugh. The suppressed laughing bouts could occur up to 10 or 15 times a day for patients, causing some embarrassing situations. One woman described the feeling "like a tickling inside my head." Due to a rise in her voice occurring with the urge to laugh, she gave up singing. Another man gauged the surrounding social situation to judge whether laughter was appropriate or not. He would bite his lip to suppress his laughter or let the urge develop into laughter similar to his normal laugh. His normal laughter caused tearing and reddening of the face whereas the pressure-to-laugh occurrences did not.

"Many patients find the feeling pleasant," said neurologist and case report author Samuel Berkovic, MD, from the Austin and Repatriation Medical Center in Victoria, Australia. "However, they are aware that sometimes a seizure may follow and this is frightening. It results in patients torn between the enjoyment of the symptom and the fear of what could happen after it."

Berkovic says it's important to recognize this often undetected symptom as a clue to the presence of a hamartoma and seek treatment from a neurologist.

"How laughter occurs is not completely understood," said Berkovic. "Laughter involves a complex relationship between the thought processes and emotional aspects of the brain as well as the physical control of the muscles in the chest and voice box. We know the hypothalamus, a tiny structure deep in the brain that is involved in things like thirst, temperature control and appetite along with emotions, is very important to the generation of laughter."

These three patients had normal brain development and intelligence, unlike other cases involving hypothalamic hamartomas and laughing seizures, where problems with mental ability, multiple seizures and behavioral problems developed.

"The difference in the symptoms of these three patients and more severe hamartoma cases is the smaller size of the hamartomas," said Berkovic. "Our patients are on the mild end of the spectrum."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy Of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy Of Neurology. "Tumor-Like Mass Can Make You Want To Laugh." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000225075951.htm>.
American Academy Of Neurology. (2000, February 25). Tumor-Like Mass Can Make You Want To Laugh. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000225075951.htm
American Academy Of Neurology. "Tumor-Like Mass Can Make You Want To Laugh." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000225075951.htm (accessed April 20, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 20, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Humanoid Robot Can Recognise and Interact With People

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) — An ultra-realistic humanoid robot called &apos;Han&apos; recognises and interprets people&apos;s facial expressions and can even hold simple conversations. Developers Hanson Robotics hope androids like Han could have uses in hospitality and health care industries where face-to-face communication is vital. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Labour Party Warns Britain's Health Service 'on Life Support'

Labour Party Warns Britain's Health Service 'on Life Support'

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — Britain&apos;s opposition Labour Party Monday claimed the National Health Service (NHS) was &apos;on life support&apos; as it turned its attention to the state-run service, which is a key issue for the UK&apos;s May 7 general election. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Students Back to School After Long Ebola Closure

Sierra Leone Students Back to School After Long Ebola Closure

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 20, 2015) — After an eight-month break, children in Sierra Leone return to school for the first time since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen E-Cigarette Use Triples, Government Debates Regulations

Teen E-Cigarette Use Triples, Government Debates Regulations

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2015) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in 2014, 13.4 percent of high school students reported smoking an e-cigarette within 30 days. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins