• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Changes in humour an early sign of dementia.

CAL Y

Registered User
Jul 17, 2021
359
0
This doesn’t surprise me. My husband had a great sense of humour and we always enjoyed great banter and taking the mickey out of each other.
One of his early symptoms was the inability to understand this and everything I said jokingly was suddenly taken literally.
Before diagnosis this caused upset and arguments.
 

fromnz123

Registered User
Aug 2, 2019
129
0
UK
My husband was diagnosed with Behavioural Variant FTD last august , and this report fits him completely.
like you @caly, me and my husband enjoyed banter and taking the mickey out of each other, it used to get us through some quite difficulties times.

This started changing slowly about 10 years ago, it was really quite inappropriate. If anything was said to him about it he would retort “ you have no sense of humour”, his ability to “read the room” was no longer there!

Funnily enough at the start of his Neuropsychological Tests he was asked to read a list of words, one word was “facetious ”, as he read the word , he retorded “haha that’s me”,
I was in the room, the Psychologist and her assistant looked up and the 3 of us made eye contact at that moment, he just couldn’t help himself even when he was being tested.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
888
0
I'd heard of this research before. I think that misinterpreting things generally can be an early sign of dementia. About four years before my mother was diagnosed I took her to a concert at the school. One of the sixth formers was the soloist in a piano concerto. When she entered the hall there was a lot of foot stamping and whooping by the other pupils. She interpreted this as hostile rather than supportive. I thought that it was a bit odd at the time but wondered whether my mother was just a bit out of touch with modern 'mores'. Of course, it's possible that that was the explanation for her reaction but this little thing has always stayed with me.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,891
0
Victoria, Australia
My husband was diagnosed with Behavioural Variant FTD last august , and this report fits him completely.
like you @caly, me and my husband enjoyed banter and taking the mickey out of each other, it used to get us through some quite difficulties times.

This started changing slowly about 10 years ago, it was really quite inappropriate. If anything was said to him about it he would retort “ you have no sense of humour”, his ability to “read the room” was no longer there!

Funnily enough at the start of his Neuropsychological Tests he was asked to read a list of words, one word was “facetious ”, as he read the word , he retorded “haha that’s me”,
I was in the room, the Psychologist and her assistant looked up and the 3 of us made eye contact at that moment, he just couldn’t help himself even when he was being tested.
My husband was similar. It was one of the things that made me realise there was a problem. When I would tease him or as you said ‘take the mickey’, he completely misinterpreted it and believed that I was criticising him. This turned into full blown paranoia and went from being a calm, funny person into someone completely different.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,823
0
74
Devon, Totnes
Basically, without the in depth studies done, the loss of a sense of humour is a sign that dementia is affecting that part of the brain that handles the many variables humour needs to be effective.

My wife used to laugh continuously at certain shows and comedians but then, gradually, she became passive and neutral. Also was unable to follow a story line and join in with social banter.
Yes, a loss of the ability to “get the joke” could well be a sign that something is wrong
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,823
0
74
Devon, Totnes
Following on from that I do have a friend who takes offence at self friendly ridicule but they have a form of autism…. different altogether.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,399
0
High Peak
Humour is enormously complicated. Getting a joke or appreciating humourous teasing requires so many bits of the brain to work together.

In these (somewhat worrying) days of AI, it's often used as a test - computers really struggle to tell jokes and fortunately are still unable to appreciate them...