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September 11, 2012
The term gelastic comes from the Greek word ‘gelos’ which means laughter. The characteristic clinical manifestation is sudden laughter. The laughter may resemble the patient’s natural laughter and go unnoticed for a long time. Facial contraction resembling a grimace may occur. Gelastic seizures are classically associated with hypothalamic hamartomas but can also occur with lesions of the temporal or frontal lobes, cortical dysplasia, and tuberous sclerosis. Diagnostic workup includes video-electroencephalogram and brain magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the seizures.
Submitted by Swapan Dholakia, MD
Disclosure: Dr. Dholakia reports no disclosures.
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