Sunday, May 14, 2017

Laughter Disorders - It might not be funny!

Hello everybody!
So today I am going to share some information on how laughter has a dark side too.
There are a lot of laughter related disorders and this gets the scientists more Intrigued to understand the neurocircuitry involved in laughter.The actual neural basis of laughter is still not very well known and what we do know about it largely comes from pathological clinical cases.
 So laughter can be classified,
 ranging from genuine and spontaneous to simulated (fake), stimulated (tickling), induced (by drugs) or even pathological.
Some of the laughter related disorders are:
1) Pseudobulbar affect : identified by Charles Darwin, It is characterised by frequent, involuntary and uncontrollable outbursts of laughing and crying. It arises due to disconnection of the descending pathways between the frontal lobes and brainstem.
Some disorders associated with the condition are : Traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple sclerosis and Most importantly Stroke.
2) Gelatophobia : Fear of being mocked at. It may lead to social ineptness to severe​ depression. It is thought to arise from negative early life experiences if being teased, ridiculed.
Imagining shows us that people who suffer from this condition have poor brain wiring and poor connections between frontal and medial temporal brain areas.
On the continum Gelatophilia is the joy of being laughed at and another related condition Katagelasticism is joy of laughing at others.
3) A twisted sense of humor and laughing at inappropriate times is thought to be an early sign of demetia.
4) Gelastic seizures : rare type of seizure that involves a sudden burst of energy, usually in the form of laughing. Mainly associated with Hypothalamic Hamartoma.
5) Angelman Syndrome : It's a chromosomal disorder affecting the Central Nervous  System.They laugh frequently due to heightened stimulation of parts of Brain involved in laughter.
So these were some pathologies and conditions of abnormal laughter.Do share if you know of any such conditions I may have missed.
So long as there are no underlying illnesses laughter is still the best medicine!
Let's Learn Together!
-Medha.

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