Wednesday 17 January 2018

David Baddiel reveals dementia fears after watching his father suffer

David Baddiel says he is already forgetting names
David Baddiel says he is already forgetting names

Comedian David Baddiel has spoken of his fears that he is developing dementia after watching his father suffer from an "extreme" form of the condition.

Baddiel, 51, said he is already forgetting people's names and he suffered an anxiety attack after a recent forgetful moment.

His father Colin suffers from Pick's disease, which Baddiel described as an "extreme, Tourette's form of dementia", that often causes patients to behave inappropriately.

Baddiel told the Daily Mirror: " Almost definitely I've got it. Scientists are making out we're all getting it eventually because we're all going to live longer, and the longer you live the more likely you are to get it.

"I've started already to forget names much more than I used to and although I think that is considered to sort-of be OK for someone of my age, I don't. Every time it happens, I think, 'OK, early onset'."

Pick's disease - or frontotemporal dementia - is an uncommon type of dementia which is thought to affect around 16,000 people in the UK, according to the NHS.

The condition tends to affect the parts of the brain that are largely responsible for language and the ability to plan and organise, as well as playing an important role in controlling behaviour.

Baddiel said his father's symptoms have been severe and included the 80-year-old crudely propositioning women at a religious gathering to mark his wife's death.

The father-of-two - who is probably best known for his work with fellow comedian Frank Skinner - also described his struggle with depression before his children, Dolly, 14, and 10-year-old Ezra, helped his recovery.

He added: "I was probably quite self-obsessed and quite self-indulgent before, but once you have them you stop ruminating about you and your issues."

Press Association

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