Witzelsucht, from the German witzeln, meaning to joke or wisecrack and sucht meaning addiction or yearning, is a set of rare neurological symptoms characterized by the patient’s uncontrollable tendency to pun, tell inappropriate jokes and pointless or irrelevant stories at inconvenient moments. The patient nevertheless finds these utterances intensely amusing. It is associated with small lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex.
It is distinguished from pathological laughing by virtue of congruent affective experience and expression, and an admixture of irritability and mirth. It is most commonly seen in patients with frontal lobe disease or injury, particularly right frontal lobe tumors or trauma.