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The girl who couldn't stop laughing

Date:
June 15, 2014
Source:
ecancer
Summary:
A six-year-old Bolivian girl presented with an unusual medical symptom: uncontrollable and inappropriate fits of laughter. “She was considered spoiled, crazy, even devil-possessed,” according to those who knew her. Then medical researchers discovered a hamartoma -- a small tumor pressing on the temporal lobe of her brain.

A six-year-old Bolivian girl presented with an unusual medical symptom: uncontrollable and inappropriate fits of laughter. "She was considered spoiled, crazy, even devil-possessed," says Dr José Liders Burgos Zuleta. Doctors diagnosed the child with "misbehaviour."

In a new research paper published in ecancermedicalscience, Dr Liders Burgos successfully diagnosed the true cause of the little girl's gelastic, or laughing, seizures. Unable to perform a biopsy, his team turned to imaging to examine the girl's brain.

They discovered a hamartoma -- a small tumour pressing on the temporal lobe of her brain.

Dr Liders Burgos hopes that this will assist other Latin American doctors in diagnosing the true cause of behavioural issues in children. "This case is interesting because these Latin American children will be referred to a neurologist," he says.

After surgery, the young girl is now healthy and developing normally. She has not suffered further seizures -- and now only laughs for normal reasons.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. José Liders Burgos Zuleta, Roger Carillo Mezo, Eduardo Perusquia Ortega, Beatriz Luna Barrón, Rubén Conde Espinosa, Diana P Marín Muentes, Julián Sánchez Cortázar, María de Guadalupe Gómez Pérez, José Alvaro Burgos Zuleta and José Andres Burgos Zuleta. Child with temporal lobe hamartoma: A to Z images and a case report. eCancer, 2014 DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2014.436

Cite This Page:

ecancer. "The girl who couldn't stop laughing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140615143612.htm>.
ecancer. (2014, June 15). The girl who couldn't stop laughing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140615143612.htm
ecancer. "The girl who couldn't stop laughing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140615143612.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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