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The Joker’s laughter exists for real

(Translated from lapress.ca)

“The laughter of the Joker, excessive and stretching inordinately over time, is not an invention of the creators of the Machiavellian character. It bears a name: the pseudobulbar affect (PBA) And some people live daily with this disorder.”

Dr. Simon Ducharme offers some insight into the Joker’s laughter in an article published on Lapress on October 30, 2019.

This “circuit break,” also known as “pseudo-bulbar affect,” deprives the person of inhibition: he knows that he is out of control, but can not do anything about it. Note that this can be manifested in the form of laughter, as in the case of the villain character of the Joker, but also crying.  Cases of pathological crying are more common. The prevalence of this syndrome is between 5 and 50% in people with neurological disease.

Dr. Ducharme, describes it as a “very lively and explosive” laugh.  Socially, it’s incapacitating. People will tend to isolate themselves to avoid being in this situation”.

Discomfort, embarrassment, shame, guilt.  The rate of depression is high in people with neurological diseases and this is no exception in the case of pseudo-bulbar affect. “It’s treated with a small dose of antidepressant medication,” says Dr. Ducharme. Affected people can not get rid of it because the lesions are present or it is a degenerative disease. In both cases, it corrects itself, but does not repair itself.

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) typically occurs in people with neurological conditions or injuries, including:

While further research is needed, the cause of PBA is believed to involve injury to the neurological pathways that regulate the external expression of emotion (affect)