A fit of laughter helped the patient to undergo an operation on the brain
For some neurosurgical interventions, it is important that the patient remains conscious so that you can avoid errors and damaging key areas of the brain. However, anxious patients can worry and even panic, which complicates the operation. So when the doctors of Atlanta have discovered a new way to reassure the patient, they decided immediately to try it.
23-year-old girl suffered from seizures for 8 years. To determine the focus of epilepsy, the doctors put her on intracranial EEG. In this procedure, electrodes in contact with the tissues of the brain directly. In the process it was discovered that the stimulation electrode beam waist — cord white matter, extending front to back between the cerebral hemispheres above the corpus callosum — causes involuntary laughter, followed by comfort and (according to the description of the patient) positive feeling.
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The article even quoted a patient: “Wow! All you need to try this” and “I remember the death of my dog, and remember that it is sad, but I have to feel this sadness right now.”
Then the authors showed the girl pictures of people expressing different emotions. This test is used to evaluate depressive symptoms of the patient. At the time of stimulation waist beam the girl evaluated the emotions in the photos rather than positive.
Newswhy the need For laughter
The doctors repeated this procedure directly during brain surgery, and she was successful, despite the fact that the previous intervention, for example, the output from the anesthesia, the girl reacted painfully and was very nervous. Subsequently, the authors of the study confirmed the effect of beam waist on two patients, but its use during surgery did not.
This is not the first case when the stimulation of a brain area causes a fit of laughter. However, it is valuable that occurs after an attack, the tranquility and relief. The authors of the study suggested that waist beam as it interacts with the surrounding brain areas, many of which are responsible for emotions. Anyway, this effect remains to study in detail may be used not only during operations, but also for the treatment of depression.