Living in a society where more and more people commit suicide as a result of depression or are killed due to stress induced diseases, laughing ourselves to death (literally) seems like a pretty good option. Of course, it’s not as wonderful as it sounds.
Laughing disease or Kuru is a very rare untreatable neurological condition caused by an infectious agent which is responsible for the eruption of some microscopic holes in the brain tissue. The symptoms are similar to those caused by the alcohol abuse: uncontrollable laughter, shivering and disequilibrium of the body. These ‘drunken’ symptoms are the reason why many of the early cases of those affected by Kuru weren’t taken seriously, being believed to be just intoxicated by alcohol.
Fortunately for us Kuru can only be transmitted if cannibalism behaviour is involved. One of the best known and most demographically significant outbursts of the laughing disease occurred among the people part of the Fore tribe in Papua New Guinea, known for their controversial practices.
If you want to learn more about the disease I would highly recommend you to watch the documentary ‘Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery’ (1), which uses a less conventional perspective than the medicine books and challenges the morals of both the tribe mentioned earlier and the modern society we are part of.
Source: (1) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1544565/