Altered Sense of Humor an Early Warning Sign of Dementia

man laughingTo laugh is human.……

Our sci­en­tif­ic under­stand­ing of the role of a sense of humor as part of health is grow­ing. What’s also emerg­ing is an under­stand­ing that a shift in the types of things that make you laugh can be a clue to a change in men­tal abil­i­ties.

A 2016 arti­cle in the Jour­nal of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease report­ed on the results of a ques­tion­naire about humor pref­er­ences.

Peo­ple with all vari­eties of demen­tia, includ­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease, were more like­ly to lose their taste for absur­dist or satir­i­cal humor, even while their appre­ci­a­tion for slap­stick humor remained unchanged.  This change in humor pref­er­ence actu­al­ly served as an ear­ly warn­ing sign of cog­ni­tive decline, show­ing up before oth­er sig­nif­i­cant men­tal changes could be detect­ed.

Does expo­sure to absur­dist or satir­i­cal com­e­dy serve to boost your resis­tance to men­tal decline? You can have a good laugh or two explor­ing this pre­ven­tion option for your­self.


About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods.

His website,, provides more information about his approach.

Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.

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