It has been reported that actor and director Terry Jones, best known as a member of the legendary Monty Python comedy troupe, has been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia known as primary progressive aphasia (PPA).
PPA is a rare form of frontotemporal dementia, and affects parts of the frontal and temporal lobes which are important for speech. Early symptoms of the disease can include a decline in language abilities, with people often having difficulties saying words or understanding them. People affected by PPA may repeat commonly used words and phrases, or forget the meaning of words.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“We are hugely saddened to hear of Terry Jones’ diagnosis, and our thoughts go out to both him and his family and loved ones. This news will not only have touched the many fans of Terry’s work, but the hundreds of thousands of people living with dementia who are facing similar challenges.
“A diagnosis of dementia can come as a shock but can also help people to make sense of the symptoms they are experiencing. Public understanding of dementia is still low and many people are unaware that dementia is not just about memory loss: the symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, causing many different challenges for the people affected. These symptoms are caused by diseases which physically attack the brain, but diseases can be beaten through research.”