What Causes Uncontrollable Laughter?

Everyone’s had the experience of not being able to stop laughing, but sometimes, this phenomenon gets taken to the extreme, says Robert Provine, author of “Laughter: A Scientific Investigation” and a psychology professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

There could be a variety of underlying causes of uncontrollable laughter for no reason other than the ones listed below:

  • Brain Injury

An uncontrollable laughter can be a result of PBA(PseudoBulbar Affect): a neurological condition of someone with brain injuries.

  • It can also result from epileptic episode called gelastic seizure.
  • It could result from Brain tumor.
  • Stroke.

A person affected by Stroke may laugh or cry uncontrollably for no apparent reason and be unable to stop.

  • Other Psychological issues such as:

Multiple sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

To further drive home the explanations as well as concluding on the causes, below are reports from some popular cases of uncontrollable laughter:

  • In 2007, a 3-year-old girl in New York began having unusual seizures that make her to laugh involuntary. She was then tested for a rare form of epilepsy by Doctors, that later cured her via a surgery that remove a tumor that was growing in the girl’s brain.


  • Yet another case is that of David Diehl, a family farmer who became a paraplegic five days after an autoimmune condition attacked his spinal cord, he began driving his tractor and combine using rails and his hands. He broke into uncontrollable laughter at a friend’s funeral three years ago. This neurological disorder left Diehl confused and apologetic.  – abcnews.
  • At the age of 33, Delanie Wilson, a mother of two and a history teacher who has all her wishes. In June 2012, Delanie fell victim to a stroke, which left doctors wondering whether she would ever be able to talk or walk again. On her road to recovery, Delanie saw improvements in her speech and movement, but began experiencing uncontrollable bouts of crying and laughing. – timesonline

So, if your laughs seem to be out of control, please consult a therapist for proper evaluation.

Helpful resource:

Do I have PBA’ Assessment

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