Changes in humor may be early indicator for dementia

Posted on November 12, 2015

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Researchers from University College London (UCL) in the UK found, in a new study, that people whose sense of humor became darker with age were more likely to have behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) - a form of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) characterized by changes in behavior - and that this change in humor began years before disease onset.

Compared with healthy individuals and those with Alzheimer's, the researchers found that people with bvFTD were more likely to have had inappropriate incidences of humor, including laughing at things other people would not normally find funny - such as a barking dog - and laughing at tragic events in their personal life and on the news.

In addition, the team found that people with bvFTD or Alzheimer's were more likely to prefer slapstick humor - such as the British sitcom Mr Bean - than satirical and absurdist humor, compared with similarly-aged healthy individuals.

The researchers report that the friends and relatives of people with bvFTD or Alzheimer's noticed changes in their loved one's sense of humor a minimum of 9 years before more common dementia symptoms presented, indicating that changes in humor may be an early sign of both FTD and Alzheimer's.

Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Aging & Geriatric Issues, Cognitive Problems Amnesia / Dementia, Dementia

Source material from Medical News Today

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