Tags: uncontrollable | laughter | caused | brain | tumor

Uncontrollable Laughter Caused by Brain Tumor Until Girl's Surgery

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 10:18 AM

It was no laughing matter for a six-year-old Bolivian girl who could not stop giggling. Turns out, she had a rare brain tumor that caused uncontrollable laughing seizures.

What appeared as inappropriate bouts of laughter from the girl was first looked on as the child simply misbehaving before physicians discovered her medical condition called gelastic seizures, according to a case published in Monday's issue of eCancerMedicalScience.com.

"Normal laughter is a reactive emotional behavior and motor action that involves the limbic system, hypothalamus, temporal cortex, and several regions of the brainstem," the case report said. "A female patient, six-years-old, left-handed, with gelastic seizures, uncontrolled despite being treated with two antiepileptic drugs at high doses, was treated."

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"A simple axial tomography was done, where a hypodense lesion that shapes the inner table of the skull temporal level was observed; later, magnetic resonance imaging was requested, better characterizing an intraxial lesion in the right second temporal gyrus cystic appearance," the case continued.

The doctors were able to successful remove the tumor during surgery and the girl is now healthy and over her laughing spells, reported LiveScience.com.

"She was considered spoiled, crazy – even devil-possessed," Dr. José Liders Burgos Zuleta, said of the girl before the surgery.

Dr. Solomon Moshé, a pediatric neurologist at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told LiveScience.com that the gelastic seizures are a form of epilepsy and are rarely seen. He said that even though the condition causes the child to laugh, doesn't mean they feel any kind of enjoyment.

"It's not necessarily 'hahaha' laughing," Moshé said. "There's no happiness in this. Some of the kids may be very scared."

A three-year-old New York girl suffered a similar condition in 2007 where her gelastic seizures brought on uncontrollable laughing followed by fits of crying, kicking and screaming, reported The Associated Press then.

In that case, doctors were also able to successfully remove the brain tumor, saying at that time that only 30 cases of gelastic seizures are diagnosed around the world annually.

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It was no laughing matter for a six-year-old Bolivian girl who could not stop giggling. Turns out, she had a rare brain tumor that caused uncontrollable laughing seizures.
uncontrollable, laughter, caused, brain, tumor
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2014-18-17
Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 10:18 AM
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