Treatment of pathological affect: variability of response for laughter and crying

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. Winter 2000;12(1):100-2. doi: 10.1176/jnp.12.1.100.


Pathological laughing and crying (PLC) is increasingly recognized to accompany diverse neurologic conditions, although it remains poorly understood. The authors describe 3 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with an unusual change from a predominance of pathological crying to laughter following drug treatment. Possible explanations for this phenomenon are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Crying*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Laughter*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mood Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Motor Neuron Disease / diagnosis
  • Motor Neuron Disease / drug therapy*
  • Sertraline / therapeutic use*


  • Fluoxetine
  • Sertraline