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  • Rx Laughter
    of UCLA to study the benefits of humor in research health education and therapy for children and adolescents We are both happy and proud to support the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center the Mattel Children s Hospital at UCLA The UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute in this important research study that has the potential to improve the quality of people s lives said Larry Divney president and CEO COMEDY CENTRAL We know our programming is entertaining but to think that we may discover that comedy and COMEDY CENTRAL is literally good for you is a very exciting proposition Says Rx Laughter Creator Sherry Dunay Hilber Comedy Central is well known and very highly regarded for their prosocial commitment as evidenced by their successful Comedy RX program and their desire to continue to find potential ways that laughter and humor may be used as a healing resource I am extremely proud and thrilled that an organization of the caliber and integrity of Comedy Central together with the world renowned UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center have agreed to join forces through Rx Laughter in this way We hope that others within the entertainment community will be as excited about joining in this unique endeavor as well Rx Laughter will include participants of all ages cultural backgrounds and socio economic groups This 5 year project will focus on interventions for children and adolescents undergoing painful procedures or difficult treatment for serious illnesses Using a combination of carefully selected classic cartoons and television some COMEDY CENTRAL programming and classic films such as Abbott Costello the Marx Bros Charlie Chaplin and WC Fields Rx Laughter will be comprised of three elements research health education and therapeutic entertainment The goal of the three elements will be to further the knowledge about the relationship between humor and health and hopefully implement those results into the treatment of children and adolescents with both serious and minor illnesses The research element will attempt to verify that laughter can actually aid in the healing process and in pain management Specifically there has been some suggestion that laughter can help the immune system fight disease The research component hopes to determine if this is indeed the case The Health Education Entertainment element will concentrate on educating and instructing patients about their illness and treatment in an energetic interesting and most importantly comedic fashion The objective of this element is to make the patient a more active participant in his her treatment by making it more interesting to learn about their illness and treatment The third element therapeutic entertainment aims to alleviate the stress of illness and to reduce pain in pediatric patients and their families through the use of humor The project leadership team includes Sherry Hilber who is the Creator Executive Producer and Executive Director of Rx Laughter with experience as a primetime network executive overseeing creative management aspects of primetime comedy series for the past several years Margaret Stuber M D UCLA Professor of Psychiatry Biobehavioral Sciences Division of Child Adolescent Psychiatry and

    Original URL path: http://www.rxlaughter.org/m_press2.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Rx Laughter
    and see them laughing their heads off said Hilber I wondered if it had a lasting effect If so how did it affect the cells in their body Could this help seriously ill people Before approaching Stuber and Zeltzer with her idea Hilber spent many hours in the library looking up past studies done on the physical effects of positive emotion Although she found some existing preliminary studies none had focused on young people with depressed immune systems Acting as a liaison between the medical community and the entertainment industry Hilber was able to convince cable television network Comedy Central to kick in a 75 000 grant for Rx Laughter It was an easy sell It was the right thing to do said Tony Fox Comedy Central s Vice President of Corporate Communications The idea of humor and health is something we believe in Plus there are some long term advantages to being associated with this study what if we could ultimately prove that Comedy Central is good for you With Hilber providing carefully screened comedy material Stuber and Zeltzer will study potential changes in the immune systems of ill children and adolescents in response to laughter They intend to monitor the physiological aspects of stress responses such as heart rate blood pressure and palm sweats The study will also measure levels of a stress related hormone called cortisol and various immune system factors We have a pretty good idea about the impact that humor and laughter can have on a person s mental well being said Zeltzer who is also the Director of the Pediatric Pain Program at the Mattel Children s Hospital at UCLA But no one has really looked with any depth at the possible biologic links between health having a good sense of humor and even

    Original URL path: http://www.rxlaughter.org/m_press3.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Rx Laughter
    carefully selected classic cartoons television shows and classic comedy films and gauging their reactions Researchers then will use the programs that induce the most laughter to test immune responses in young patients with diseases such as cancer and AIDS Cancer Center researchers said that if a positive biological response to laughter is found the cartoons TV shows and films could be incorporated into the care of ill children during procedures such as blood draws and chemotherapy to alleviate stress and feasr and promote faster healing We ultimately hope to help children who are hospitalized and getting treatment for serious illnesses such as cancer and AIDS where the immune ysstem is vital and improving it could be life saving said Dr Margaret Stuber a cancer researcher and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute Stuber and Dr Lonnie Zeltzer a UCLA cancer researcher professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology and director of the Pediatric Pain Program at the Mattel Chidlren s Hospital at UCLA will head up Rx Laughter and conduct the five year study We have a pretty good idea about the impact that laughter and humor can have on a person s mental well being said Zeltzer who also serves as associate director of the Patients and Survivors section in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at UCLA s Jonsson Cancer Center But no one has really looked with any depth at the possible biologic links between health having a good sense of humor and even the act of laughter itself We ll study the impact that both humor and laughter have on the immune system and pain transmission and control The unique study represents a cooperative effort between cancer researchers asnd the entertainment industry Rx Laughter was conceptualized and founded by Sherry Dunay Hilber an entertainment executive who has worked for both CBS and ABC Hilber brought her brainchild to Stuber and Zeltzer I have often wondered while watching an audience laugh how they were possibly affected both physically and emotionally by their laughter said Hilber a UCLA graduate Did it relax their bodies improve their immune systems If so could this help seriously ill people I hope very much that this program will lead to new ways of helping people live happier and healthier lives The Comedy Central grant is part of the network s Comedy Rx program designed to heighten awareness of the positive effects of laughter said Larry Divney president and chief executive officer of Comedy Central Divney tells us We know our programming is entertaining but to think that we may discover that comedy is literally good for you is as very exciting proposition In collaboration with Hilber Stuber and Zeltzer will study potential changes in the immune systems of ill children and adolescents in response to laughter Stuber and Zeltzer said they plan to monitor physiological aspects of the stress response such as heart rate blood pressure palm sweats the levels of a stress related

    Original URL path: http://www.rxlaughter.org/m_press4.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Rx Laughter
    Stuber a cancer researcher child psychiarist and professor in the Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences Department at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institutute What we re hoping to find is that laughter can really have a health benefit for children Stuber says She notes there is already significant evidence that emotion affects health We know that stress has negative effects on health for both adults and children And we have indicates that laughter makes a difference for adults Stuber says The study will be the first to focus on what makes healthy children laugh They ll be shown classic cartoons comedy movies and television shows to see which ones produce loud laughs grins or smiles The act of laughter may have a very different affect on the body than just finding something funny Zeltzer says The funniest shows will then be used to test physiological responses in healthy children by measuring their heart rate and other biologic functions as they laugh The final phase of the study will focus on showing young patients with cancer and AIDS the funny shows and monitoring their stress responses including heart rate blood pressure palm sweats and levels of cortisol la stress related hormone The researchers will look at the effect on various immune system factors If the laughter produces positive responses the cartoons TV shows asnd movies could be incorporated into the treatment for ill children to help them cope with the ordeal of treatment One of the things that s been very frustrating to me in my work is that there s a huge body of scientific work and literature about various ways we can help children get through illness procedures etc but most of those have been very person intensive requiring 1 on 1 training of people in relaxation treatment and so on Stuber

    Original URL path: http://www.rxlaughter.org/m_press5.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Rx Laughter
    as cancer and AIDS We have a pretty good idea about the impact that laughter and humour can have on a person s mental well being said Dr Lonnie Zeltzer of the Jonsson Cancer Centre at the University of California In Los Angeles But no one has really looked with any depth at the possible biological links between health having a good sense of humour and even the act of laughter itself We ll study the impact that both humour and laughter have on the immune system and pain transmission and control A colleague Dr Margaret Stuber said We hope to help children who are hospitalised and getting treatment for serious illnesses such as cancer and AIDS where the immune system is vital and improving it could be life saving The project is the brainchild of Sherry Dunay Hilber an entertainment industry executive who has worked for the CBS and ABC television networks The cable TV network Comedy Central is helping to finance the research and sharing it s best jokes with the researchers I have often wondered watching an audience laugh how they were affected physically and emotionally by laughter said Ms Hilber Does it relax their bodies improve

    Original URL path: http://www.rxlaughter.org/m_press6.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Rx Laughter
    in Psychology at the University of Rome Sapienza This project runs from 2010 to 2012 Back to Top Rx Laughter and the Prince Mahavajiralongkorn Cancer Center A Division of The National Cancer Institute in Thailand Understanding the Effects of Humor Therapy on Patients Self Reports of Pain Comfort and Anxiety These findings are a result of a 2006 to 2007 collaborative research project between Rx Laughter and the Mahavajiralongkorn Cancer Center in Thailand for adults with cancer with academic support from graduate students at the Yale University School of Public Health Rx Laughter is especially helpful for the patients because they have virtually no other form of therapy or entertainment available to them in the hospital It is cost effective non invasive painless and comforting Letter from the Director of National Cancer Institute Hospital in Thailand The results of this study were analyzed by Fulbright Scholar Joy Bhosai and Biostatistician Saki Miwa Ms Bhosai and Ms Miwa were graduate students at the Yale University School of Public Health at the time of this project We are greatly appreciative of their pro bono efforts throughout this project Based on these findings we now look forward to helping more adults going thru treatments such as these at more cancer centers for under served people worldwide Back to Top Rx Laughter and the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Lab Research Evidence Based Journal of Complementary Alternative Medicine October 2007 Laughter Humor and Pain Perception in Children American Medical Association worldwide press briefing February 2002 Laughter Tested as Pain Therapy for Children Findings from this multi year collaborative research project suggest that pediatric patients who watch funny classic and contemporary films and television shows during a medical procedure are able to tolerate the pain of the procedure significantly longer A surprising finding They did

    Original URL path: http://www.rxlaughter.org/t_research.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Rx Laughter
    supportive and both are ultimately necessary Robert C Wood Photos Participating patients at the Mahavajiralongkorn Cancer Center in Thailand a division of the National Cancer Institute Page 2 of photos Page 1 Back to main Photos page NCI Patient Photos Consent information Patient consents have been given to show these photos exclusively on the Rx Laughter website No reproduction distribution or other usage is allowed elsewhere for any reason whatsoever

    Original URL path: http://www.rxlaughter.org/m_photo_study2.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Rx Laughter
    Dear Ms Hilber Cancer is a difficult illness to deal with and this makes many patients depressed Doctors can treat cancer patients with medicine and improve their overall general condition However the nurses and doctors are not always fully equipped to deal with mental health Also in Thailand there is a lack of psychologists and psychiatrists at hospitals For example in the southern part of Thailand there is only 1

    Original URL path: http://www.rxlaughter.org/m_photo_nurse2.htm (2016-02-16)
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