Enna Stephens Can't Stop Giggling After Undergoing Brain Surgery

08/09/2011 04:36 pm ET | Updated Oct 09, 2011

If you've ever gotten the occasional bout of giggles, you know how hard it can be to stop. But for one 7-year-old British girl, a weird side effect of brain surgery has made her unable to stop giggling for the last month.

Enna Stephens underwent surgery to have a tumor removed from her brain, and as a result, suffers from pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a disorder caused by nerve damage that makes it hard to control emotional responses, The Daily Mail reported. As a result, she has frequent bouts of the giggles.

PBA is common in about 5 percent of people who undergo brain surgery, the Daily Mail reported. It can manifest in many ways, with most people feeling feelings of depression or anger from it.

But in Enna's case, it was the giggles. "When Enna came round she was giggling and it just carried on," her mother Vana Stephens told The Daily Mail. "She would giggle all the time – anything would set her off."

PBA can be frustrating for the people who have to live with it, because it can interfere with normal, everyday life, ABC News reported.

When PBA comes about because of traumatic brain injury, it signals brain damage and often diminishes while the brian heals. It can also come about from conditions like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's diseases, but in those cases, it often worsens as the disease progresses through time, according to ABC News.

There have been other cases of people who haven't been able to stop engaging in what are otherwise normal human functions. Take Jennifer Mee, for example, the young Florida woman who couldn't stop hiccuping for three weeks when she was 15. (A few years after her hiccuping spree, Mee was charged with first-degree murder for the death of a 22-year-old man.)

Suggest a correction