The girl who couldn't stop laughing

June 17, 2014

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 of her brain.

Dr Liders Burgos hopes that this will assist other Latin American doctors in diagnosing the true cause of 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.

Explore further: Chile girl improving after separation twin

More information: Read the case report for free here: ecancer.org/journal/8/436.php 

Burgos Zuleta José Liders, Carillo Mezo Roger, Perusquia Ortega Eduardo, Luna Barrón Beatriz, Conde Espinosa Rubén, Marín Muentes Diana P, Sánchez Cortázar Julián, Gómez Pérez María de Guadalupe, Burgos Zuleta José Alvaro and Burgos Zuleta José Andres (2014) "Child with temporal lobe hamartoma: A to Z images and a case report." ecancer 8: 436

Related Stories

Chile girl improving after separation twin

December 20, 2011

(AP) -- Doctors in Chile are optimistic about the survival of a 10-month-old girl who was separated from a conjoined twin who died following the surgery.

Depression common among children with temporal lobe epilepsy

May 23, 2013

A new study determined that children and adolescents with seizures involving the temporal lobe are likely to have clinically significant behavioral problems and psychiatric illness, especially depression. Findings published ...

Child's pregnancy sets off Chile abortion debate

July 5, 2013

(AP)—The case of a pregnant 11-year old girl who was raped in Chile by her mother's partner has set off a national debate about abortion in one of the most socially-conservative countries in Latin America.

Recommended for you

Cellphone data can track infectious diseases

August 20, 2015

Tracking mobile phone data is often associated with privacy issues, but these vast datasets could be the key to understanding how infectious diseases are spread seasonally, according to a study published in the Proceedings ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.