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Monty Python member has non-Alzheimer’s dementia

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Terry Jones — a member of Monty Python, and the director of “Life of Brian” — is now helping to draw attention to the fact that conditions other than Alzheimer’s disease cause dementia.

News that Jones has frontotemporal degeneration, a non-Alzheimer’s form of dementia, surfaced Friday. The London-based British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced that Jones, who is a 74-year-old member of the silent generation, has primary progressive aphasia, a form of FTD dementia.

Jones is getting an award from the group next month. The group said Jones’ dementia would keep him from doing interviews.

The story broke as the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, a Radnor, Pennsylvania-based group that promotes FTD research, was getting ready to start its 2016 FTD Awareness Week campaign.

Related: Early-onset dementia: 4 reasons FTD groups are desperate for your help

FTD is a disease that hurts the front of the brain, or the part of the brain immediately below the front of the brain.

Experienced long-term care insurance planners know of FTD dementia as a reason to encourage young consumers to buy private LTCI coverage: The average age of people diagnosed with new cases of FTD dementia is just 57.

The typical patient with FTD is ages 45 to 64, and the condition can hit people as young as 21.

Public aid programs designed for older people with dementia may be poorly suited for people who develop FTD dementia while they still have young children.

One of the goal’s of the FTD association is to persuade researchers to gather better FTD dementia statistics.

But the association says a 2011 study suggests that the condition might affect about 30,000 to 60,000 U.S. residents and account for about 10 percent to 20 percent of all dementia cases.

A donor helped the association run an awareness campaign ad in The New York Times this past Sunday, as news of Jones’ diagnosis was spreading.


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