Gelastic epilepsy: A clinical contribution

P. Iannetti, L. Chessa, U. Raucci, L. A. Basile, L. M. Fantozzi, L. Bozzao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gelastic (laughing) epilepsy, relatively uncommon, is usually associated with hypothalamic hamartomas, pituitary tumors, astrocytomas of the mammillary bodies, and dysraphic conditions. Cases of unknown etiology are rare. In three of the four cases reported here, the diagnoses were hamartoma of the tuber cinereum; lobar holoprosencephaly; and lissencephaly type I, grade 2. In the fourth, radiographic investigation gave a normal result; a genetic etiology was suggested because of bilateral familial idiopathic epilepsy. In all patients, EEGs showed both focal spikes and generalized spike-and-wave discharges. The primary underlying neurophysiologic disorder may be provoked by the diffuse hyperexcitability of the cortex and subsequent firing of the thalamocortical networks with which the cortical brain is reciprocally interlinked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-470
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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