The Guardian has an update on Terry Jones, the “Monty Python” member who last fall revealed he has dementia. Most of the news isn’t good, unfortunately, as Jones’ condition has worsened in the months since he went public with his diagnosis. Though still able to get around by himself physically, the once-verbose performer’s speech is now limited to just a few words at a time.
Jones has frontotemporal dementia, which affects the language and social-control centers of the brain. In addition to reducing patients’ ability to speak, it may also make them appear less concerned with their loved ones. Though his speech is “now restricted to a few words, usually uttered to agree with those who are speaking to him,” Jones “remains an enthusiastic walker, likes his beer and wine, and watches old films compulsively. ‘Some Like It Hot’ is a favourite.”
Michael Palin, Jones’ longtime friend and fellow “Monty Python” troupe member, speaks at length about his friend’s condition, saying that the inability to express himself “must be the most difficult thing — not to be able to say quite simply how you are feeling on a given occasion. We assume that he is happy, but that assumption could be wrong. We just don’t know.” Read the full piece here.