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When Baahubali actress Anushka Shetty revealed that she suffered from a rare laughing disease; learn more | Health information

When Baahubali actress Anushka Shetty revealed that she suffered from a rare laughing disease;  learn more |  Health information
When Baahubali actress Anushka Shetty revealed that she suffered from a rare laughing disease;  learn more |  Health information


Laughter is often contagious, but for Baahubali actor Anushka Shetty, it's a disorder. In an old video interview, Shetty revealed that she was suffering from a rare state of laughter that prevents it from stopping once it begins. “I have laughing sickness. You may be wondering, “Is laughing a problem?” For me, it's. If I start laughing, I can't stop for 15-20 minutes. While watching or filming comedy scenes, I literally roll on the floor laughing, and filming has been interrupted several times,” Shetty said, as reported by Indeglitz.

What is it about ?

Laughter sickness is called pseudobulbar effect in medical literature, said neurologist Dr Sudhir Kumar. Common symptoms in people suffering from pseudobulbar affect, we can cite:

* Sudden episodes of laughing or crying
* These episodes are violent and last several minutes (usually 15 to 20 minutes)

Kumar said that often the trigger for laughter can be weak, meaning emotional responses are disproportionate to the triggering event. Others present may not find it so funny and, therefore, the person suffering someone suffering from laughing sickness may feel embarrassed by their reaction, he noted.

brain Pseudobulbar affect is a neurological disorder (Source: Freepik)

The underlying reasons for laughing sickness

Several neurological disorders, such as motor neuron disease (MND)/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, brain tumor, or head trauma, can cause a pseudobulbar effect. “In many cases there is no brain or neurological disease. In these cases, the disease is thought to be linked to an imbalance of neurotransmitters, leading to dysfunction of neural pathways in the brain, such as the cerebro-ponto-cerebellar pathways,” Kumar said.

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The exact cause of the disease can vary, and in some cases the origin remains unidentified. “These seizures are not always accompanied by typical epileptic symptoms like seizures, making diagnosis difficult,” said Dr. Vinit Banga, associate director of neurology and head of neurointervention at BLK Max Hospital.

According to Kumar, “laughing sickness” can be confused with a psychiatric illness. However, it is not the same thing. “Pseudobulbar affect (or laughing sickness) can be confused with mood disorders such as mania or depression. In pseudobulbar affect, symptoms last only a few minutes and the person's mood is normal between episodes. In contrast, mood disorders present symptoms throughout the day. There is no underlying psychopathology in people with pseudobulbar affect and therefore it is not considered a psychiatric illness,” Kumar said.

However, because the symptoms appear emotional and the causes are related to brain dysfunction, it is considered a neuropsychiatric illness.


“Deep, relaxed, slow breathing can help during bouts of laughter. Diverting your mind to another topic might also help. Relax the muscles around the shoulder, neck and chest wall is also helpful,” Kumar said.

There are a few medications approved to treat this condition. Consult a doctor for specific treatment advice.




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