A five-year-old boy has been taken care of at a clinic in Ireland for headaches that can occur when laughing.
The boy was first seen in the department for outpatients at Mayo University Hospital “with a one-year experience of headaches caused by laughter”.
In a paper published in the July-August issue of Irish Medical Journal (IMJ) the authors state that they believe it’s the first published paediatric case report that mentions laughter as a cause for headaches.
They say the fact that “laugh headaches” have been reported as a common symptom for people suffering from a condition called Chiari malformation. It is when a part of the skull appears distorted or smaller than what is normal and is pressing against the brain, pushing it to move downwards.
In the instance that was reported to the medics who were at Mayo University Hospital, the authors of the latest study state that the 5-year-old “experiences rapid onset generalised headaches with different severity that are usually associated with laughing, and, at times, shouting”.
The doctors say that these headaches “have not been associated through coughing, sneezing stretching or bending”.
The report further states that “the discomfort is described as tightening pain throughout his head that can be related to nausea, vomiting, or generalized weakness”.
In the article, titled Chiari Malformations presenting as Headaches that are accompanied by laughter In the paper, the doctors say “his response to discomfort is to hold his head with both hands , and then lay or sit upon the floor. The pain can last for several minutes, but it will ease after which he returns to his normal posture afterwards”.
The report says the following “these headaches have not interfered with sports or education, such as GAA and soccer”.
As of the the initial assessment the incidents were happening daily.
A MRI examination of the child revealed Chiari malformation. A referral was sent to a tertiary neuro center for further treatment.
At the time of review, at the time of review, his headaches “had decreased in frequency, but were growing in the severity” according to the report.
The medical professionals inform “his parents” are conducting an eye on the frequency of headaches, severity and triggers.
He will then be monitored by the neurological team. They will conduct regular MRI brain and spine and a regular review of the symptoms”.
According to the research paper the paper, in patients who are managed conservatively Chiari malformations, patients the typical course of improvement is headaches and nausea in a majority of patients , with children more likely to see improvement than adults.
The doctors of Mayo University Hospital and Children’s Health Ireland on Temple Street in Dublin say that, in light of the nature of Chiari malformation, and the not-insignificant the rate of complications that can be triggered by neurosurgical interventions It is acceptable to treat symptoms that are mildly or not at all. Chiari malformation patients in a conservative manner with periodic imaging and evaluation of symptoms.
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