Earlier this week I visited my family doctor. Nothing serious. It has been a while since my last visit. I should visit more often. He always has a few jokes to tell. Most of them could be labeled racy, lewd, lacivious or just plain-old groaners. For example; "Why is semen white in color and urine yellow in color? So a man knows whether he is coming or going. I warned you.
On a more serious note. We were talking about humor and how it tends to have a therapeutic effect on our lives and our health. During that interchange he mentioned that he is convinced about that effect when dealing with patients who have dementia. Apparently there is a disconnect between the sides of the brain that deal with emotion and the part that handles rational thought. It has been his experience that when he tells a story that is obviously humorous, people with dementia understand the words, but fail to experience the humor. They don't laugh. They don't smile. They don't even smirk. He has developed or acquired a verbal test to support this.
As an example he mentioned a 65 year old man who is retired and who got 13 out of 31 on his test. The lower the score, the more likely dementia has set in. As a result the patient was referred for an MRI of his brain. The test revealed that the man's brain was 3/4th the normal size. With that much brain deterioration one of the outcomes is dementia.
The doc's inquiries into the connection have brought him to the conclusion that there are no studies, definitive or otherwise looking into the matter. We discussed his beginning a study by administering his test to all of his patients. He is not ready to do that right now, but hopefully will do so in the future.
As for my ailment, it is an itching rash on my back. He says it is dry skin and a water-based lotion should do the trick. So far it hasn't. I must give it more time. I plan to see him again next week. I will try to get him to collect the data to begin his study. Hell, I can help him in some way.
Stay healthy folks. Laugh your cares away. It just might help you to keep dementia away.