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Altered sense of humor in dementia

Clark, CN; Nicholas, JM; Gordon, E; Golden, HL; Cohen, MH; Woodward, FJ; Macpherson, K; ... Warren, JD; + view all (2016) Altered sense of humor in dementia. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease , 49 (1) pp. 111-119. 10.3233/JAD-150413. Green open access

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Abstract

Sense of humor is potentially relevant to social functioning in dementias, but has been little studied in these diseases. We designed a semi-structured informant questionnaire to assess humor behavior and preferences in patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD; n = 15), semantic dementia (SD; n = 7), progressive nonfluent aphasia (PNFA; n = 10), and Alzheimer's disease (AD; n = 16) versus healthy age-matched individuals (n = 21). Altered (including frankly inappropriate) humor responses were significantly more frequent in bvFTD and SD (all patients) than PNFA or AD (around 40% of patients). All patient groups liked satirical and absurdist comedy significantly less than did healthy controls. This pattern was reported premorbidly for satirical comedy in bvFTD, PNFA, and AD. Liking for slapstick comedy did not differ between groups. Altered sense of humor is particularly salient in bvFTD and SD, but also frequent in AD and PNFA. Humor may be a sensitive probe of social cognitive impairment in dementia, with diagnostic, biomarker and social implications.

Type: Article
Title: Altered sense of humor in dementia
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3233/JAD-150413
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-150413
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 IOS Press and the authors. This article is published online with Open Access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, comedy, dementia, frontotemporal dementia, humor, progressive aphasia, semantic dementia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1481569
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