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December 1951

FORCED CRYING AND LAUGHING: Treatment with Atropine and Atropine-like Agents

Author Affiliations


From the United States Naval Hospital, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;66(6):738-743. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320120071009

IN THE course of pharmacologic therapy of a patient who exhibited Parkinsonian phenomena associated with forced crying and laughing, it was observed, as a result of medication, that, together with the diminution in tremor amplitude, there was a definite decrease in the frequency and intensity of the paroxysmal episodes of crying and laughing. On the basis of this observation, a series of nine patients showing the phenomenon of forced crying and laughing were given atropine or atropine-like drugs to determine whether these medicaments might be an effective means for the control or modification of this patterned motor discharge.

The nine patients who exhibited episodic uncontrolled laughing and/or crying were systematically studied before and after the administration of scopolamine hydrobromide U. S. P. (orally) or atropine sulfate (subcutaneously) in doses of 1/150 to 1/100 grain (0.4 to 0.6 mg.) three times a day. In certain cases the patients were placed under