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Nov 10, 2015 09:22 AM EST

Dark sense of humor a sign of impending dementia

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A new study reveals that a dark sense of humor could mean that dementia could be in the cards, Morning Ticker reports. 

The University college research was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The study examined the families and friends of 48 dementia patients who could describe their behavior 15 years before they developed the disease. They noted that senses of humor of the patients tended to take on a darker tone and they were also more likely to enjoy slapstick comedies like Mr. Bean.

According to the report, a respondent wrote: "Early on, [they] laughed very loudly at things that were only mildly funny, flippant or over the top; now laughs all the time at things that are not particularly funny and will say 'I'm laughing and I'm not sure why I'm laughing.' ... When I badly scalded myself the other year, [they] thought it was hilarious."

Alzheimer's and dementia are disease of the brain characterized by memory loss, problems with language and disorientation, mood swings and behavioral problems.

According to Guardian, Dr Simon Ridley, of Alzheimer's Research UK, said relatives concerned about changes in the behaviour of their loved ones should contact their GP.

"While memory loss is often the first thing that springs to mind when we hear the word dementia, this study highlights the importance of looking at the myriad different symptoms that impact on daily life and relationships," he told the BBC.

"A deeper understanding of the full range of dementia symptoms will increase our ability to make a timely and accurate diagnosis."

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