SUNDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A region of the brain known
as the hypothalamus may be responsible for laughter, new research
Researchers from Stanford University and Barrow Neurological
Institute studied 100 people with a rare disorder, gelastic
epilepsy, which is characterized by laughing seizures.
The participants were placed into groups: those with laughing
seizures only, those with laughing seizures as well as other types
of seizures and those with additional symptoms of brain impairment
and early puberty.
In all cases, those with gelastic epilepsy had a congenital
brain lesion (called a hamartoma) in a specific region of the
The study was scheduled to be presented Sunday at the American
Epilepsy Society's annual meeting in Baltimore. Because this study
was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should
be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed
The U.S. Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides
more information on
the human brain.