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A 13 year old boy was misdiagnosed with Tourette's syndrome for 10 years before doctors ordered an MRI and identified his laughing seizures to be due to a hypothalamic hamartoma. The tumor on the hypothalamus in his brain had caused him to start falling down and the laughing seizures had increased in frequency when doctors started to re-evaluate their diagnosis. He was also overeating as he could not achieve a sense of fullness and is developmentally handicapped. The tumor would have been present at birth, but they usually do not grow in size and cause no problems, making his condition rare. He now has to take 10 pills to control the seizures while waiting for a delicate and expensive operation to remove the benign hypothalamic tumor. The operation can affect his short term memory, but this is not permanent, and it means he will not have to take any more medications for seizures.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The Times Gazette
About: Misdiagnosis of rare brain tumor
Date: 5 June 2005
Source: The Times Gazette
Author: Jeff Gilliland
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