|King of Slapstick (Photo by Georges Biard)|
Did you hear the one about the guy whose sense of humor radically changed? They say he might have dementia, and that’s no joke.
Stephen Feller of UPI reports that drastic changes in humor preferences may indicate the onset of dementia long before a formal diagnosis is made.
University College London researchers found that Alzheimer’s patients tend to favor slapstick, whereas those suffering from “behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia” tend to favor “language-based comedy.” These preferences may eventually help diagnosticians to “differentiate between the different diseases that cause dementia."
Laughing inappropriately (such as at “funerals, tragedy on the news or the weather”) may also be a diagnostic clue. However, studies are as yet inconclusive. Larger sample pools are needed over longer time spans in order “to understand how and when changes in humor could act as a red flag for underlying brain changes.”
Copyright November 13, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved