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Humor Change a Dementia Sign? Research Says It Could Be Early Red Flag

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By    |   Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 05:12 PM

A sense of humor change in what a person finds funny could be an early indicator of dementia, a new study has reported.

Although memory loss is the symptom people are most familiar when it comes to Alzheimer's Disease and dementia, studies have found other symptoms that can show up earlier in the disease process, Medical Daily reported. Signs like a changed walking speed and a decreasing sense of smell have been identified as potential early warnings of problems.

But researchers have added a changed sense of humor to that list. In an article published last month in the "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease," researchers at the University College London found that patients who had varying types of dementia "liked satirical and absurdist comedy significantly less than" patients who were healthy.

The liking for slapstick comedy, however, was not different among the groups tested.

In questionnaires completed by people who had known the person affected with dementia for a number of years, it was determined that patients who showed inappropriate humor responses — such as laughing about someone injuring him or herself or at stories of natural disasters — changed their liking for humor toward more "fatuous and farcical." In all groups, there was a decrease in liking for satirical and absurdist comedy.

"As well as providing clues to underlying brain changes, subtle differences in what we find funny could help differentiate between the different diseases that cause dementia," lead researcher Dr. Camilla Clark said in a press release. "Humor could be a particularly sensitive way of detecting dementia because it puts demands on so many different aspects of brain function, such as puzzle solving, emotion, and social awareness."

Social media lit up as the result of the humor research spread online.


And, of course, some couldn't help looking at the study . . . humorously.


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A sense of humor change in what a person finds funny could be an early indicator of dementia, a new study has reported.
humor, change, dementia, indicator, research
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2015-12-12
Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 05:12 PM
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