Recent studies have shown increased bouts of uncharacteristic and inappropriate humour could indicate an early sign of Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
The research was conducted by the University College London and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. Friends and family of 48 Dementia patients were surveyed and results showed a clear difference when the sense of humour changed in relatives over a 15 year period.
Family members reported loved ones finding ‘inappropriate’ and ‘twisted’ examples of humour, such as death, disasters and bad news. Patients also seemed to find the simplistic and ‘slapstick’ variety of humour amusing, such as the Mr Bean type comedy.
Surveys showed a direct link with the disease after humour change, with sufferers diagnosed shortly after changes were noted. Trends in humour change were also noted in Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Certain types of Dementia such as Semantic Dementia and Frontotemporal, were more prone to a warped humour change, the latter variety causing patient’s to struggle in social situations.
Some even said that relatives humour would appear ‘rude’ and ‘graphic’ with one family member even laughing when she scalded herself.
Memory loss is usually the first and most common sign that people would associate with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Dr Simon Ridley, of Alzheimer’s Research UK has urged relatives to mark changes and to contact their G.P if they were concerned about behaviour changes. He said that it was important to look at other significant behavioural changes rather than just memory loss.