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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKPOSWu-b4GjEK_iOCsp4MA

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at drhowardsmith.reports@gmail.com or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is: www.drhowardsmith.com.

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Jul 23, 2019

Vidcast:  https://youtu.be/qhaBlo6cVAE

 

An unexpected observation during a patient’s awake neurosurgery confirms that laughter leads to a sense of calm and happiness.  Surgeons at Emory University in Atlanta relate this fascinating, whimsical tale.

 

A young patient with difficult to control epilepsy was undergoing awake neurosurgery to pinpoint the seizure focus.  During the surgery, the surgeons inadventantly stimulated  a pathway called the cingulum bundle, and the patient immediately began to smile, laugh, joke, and report an extremely calming and mood elevating experience that seemed to neutralize not only pain but also any scary thoughts.  

 

The neuroscientists repeated this same cingulum bundle stimulation in two other seizure patients to confirm their initial observation.  They plan to use this stimulation technique in the future to calm nervous surgical patients and possibly to help treat depression.

 

The good news is that you can trigger laughter and its calming and pain-neutralizing aftermath with a funny book or movie, some standup comedy, and looking for the funny side of life.  Try it and enjoy!

 

Kelly R. Bijanki, Joseph R. Manns, Cory S. Inman, Ki Sueng Choi, Sahar Harati, Nigel P. Pedersen, Daniel L. Drane, Allison C. Waters, Rebecca E. Fasano, Helen S. Mayberg, Jon T. Willie. Cingulum stimulation enhances positive affect and anxiolysis to facilitate awake craniotomy. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2018; DOI: 10.1172/JCI120110

 

#laughter #calm #mood #elevation #epilepsy #seizure #awake #neurosurgery