Sarcasm useful in diagnosing dementia

Scientists at the University of New South Wales, which is right up there with Harvard and Oxford in terms of its renown as a research locus, have proposed that sarcasm may be useful in diagnosing certain types of dementia.

The researchers … say patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) or Pick’s disease, have trouble reading emotions and are often unable to sense when someone is being sarcastic.
Being unable to pick up when caregivers are angry, sad or depressed, can be upsetting for those involved and sometimes makes managing such patients a difficult task.
Even though FTD is the second most common form of dementia in younger people (i.e. under 65) it is often misdiagnosed as a personality disorder or sufferers are dismissed as strange, and often ostracised because FTD can lead to sexual disinhibition, rudeness and a lack of empathy.

Because we all know that only clinically demented people are overly horny or act like jerks.

The researchers devised a simple and non-invasive test where patients are merely asked: do you get the joke?

Yeah, that sounds conclusive, all right.

  1. #1 by Ray Ingles on December 15, 2008 - 12:08 pm

    The lack of tone-of-voice and facial expression on the net doth make FTD sufferers of us all…

  2. #2 by Warren on December 15, 2008 - 5:26 pm

    My armchair diagnosis of Bill O’Reilly is vindicated!

  3. #3 by krishnan on January 15, 2010 - 10:55 am

    Hi Doc, MPR reported on this NSW proposal on sarcasm and added that for those with FTD life in Newyork city could be difficult and sometimes it can be downright dangerous.
    And btw….on a completely unrelated topic, check out the following link:

  4. #4 by Hattaigue on September 7, 2010 - 1:34 pm

    Hi there!

    Just want to say hi and good evening.

    Many Thanks,

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