Webinar to Look at Laughter and Humor as Ways to Help Deal with Huntington’s

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Huntington's humor webinar

GeneFo will offer a free webinar on how adding humor to Huntington’s patients’ lives can help improve their symptom management, emotional wellbeing, ability to cope with adversity, and social and work interaction.

The webinar, which is aimed at caregivers as well patients, will start at 1 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, Sept. 27. It will be titled “Using Humor to Better Manage Huntington’s.” Register here for free to watch the event live or receive a video of it by email later.

Although scientists are developing Huntington’s treatments, the neurodegenerative disease generates a lot of pain and stress. Doctors now widely accept that a patient’s emotional state will affect the course and outcome of their disease.

Because of this, those treating the disease are paying more attention to humor as a way to help patients control their symptoms and improve their wellbeing and quality of life.

One of the webinar’s co-hosts, Yvonne deSousa, has a neurodegenerative disease. She is also a humorist who has been nominated for a WEGO Health Hilarious Patient Leader Award. WEGO Health bills itself as a company trying to transform health care by harnessing the experience, skills and insights of 100,000 patients with 150 diseases.

GeneFo describes itself as a social media medical platform that connects patients who have genetic diseases with other patients, caregivers and healthcare specialists who can deliver personalized, up-to-date feedback in real time.

The webinar will offer practical advice on finding humor in living with a complex condition, and easing stress connected with it. In addition to looking at the benefits of this approach, it will offer tips on how to deal with people with chronic diseases, including 10 things you should never say.

A lot of studies have shown that laughter promotes health. Benefits include better immunological and hormonal responses, increased pain tolerance and reduced anxiety and depression.

Theodore Brown is leading a group of researchers seeking Huntington’s patients for a study of how laughter affects mood, stress and well-being. The team hopes to find ways to incorporate it in mainstream treatments for Huntington’s and other neurological and chronic conditions.

The webinar will take a look at the project, including how people can participate.