Researchers say changing sense of humor can be early indicator of dementia

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Researchers Say Changing Sense Of Humor Can Be Early Indicator Of Dementia

What a person finds funny can be very telling about their character and personality.

According to research from the UK, an individual's sense of humor can also serve as an early indicator of dementia.

A recently published University College London study suggests that a change in what elicits a chuckle may be a warning sign of a type of frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. One notable worrisome behavior is laughing at completely inappropriate times, like in response to a tragic event.

A marked change in comedic style preference, like suddenly abandoning one's love of Monty Python and gravitating towards The Three Stooges instead, is also a potential sign of trouble.

The researchers decided to look into sense of humor as an indicator of dementia due to the trait's impact on both personality and interpersonal relations.

To gather data, the team gave questionnaires to the friends and family of nearly 50 people diagnosed with FTD or Alzheimer's.

Answers provided the researchers with a wealth of information concerning what changes occurred over time, and when the transformations first appeared. According to the BBC, "Questionnaires...revealed many had noticed a change in humour years before the dementia had been diagnosed.

The research team believes that paying attention to humor-related shifts could greatly aid the difficult process of detecting and diagnosing dementia early on.

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