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Effect of Humor on Allergen-Induced Wheal Reactions

Hajime Kimata, MD, PhD
JAMA. 2001;285(6):738. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-285-6-jlt0214.
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To the Editor: Norman Cousins1 originally reported that only 10 minutes of laughter alleviated the pain of ankylosing spondyilitis. Subsequently, it has been reported that laughter during a 60-minute humorous video decreased blood cortisol levels and increased natural killer activity in healthy subjects.2 Another study reported that exposure to a 60-minute rakugo (traditional Japanese comic story) decreased blood levels of interleukin 6 and interferon γ and alleviated pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.3

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Figure. Effect of Laughter on Wheal Responses Induced by House Dust Mite Allergen
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Wheal responses induced by house dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) allergen were studied in 26 patients with atopic dermatitis by skin prick test before and after viewing Modern Times. Individual values of diameters of the wheal responses are reported. Solid circles indicate mean values; vertical bars, SDs.

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