Monty Python Star Terry Jones Dies
Terry Jones, a founding member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, has died at the age of 77. He had primary progressive aphasia, a rare type of dementia that primary affects speech and communication.
One of several subtypes of frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), primary progressive aphasia, or PPA, is caused by degeneration of the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain, which include the areas responsible for producing language. It is characterized predominately by the gradual loss of the ability to speak, read, write and understand what others are saying.
In a statement released to several news outlets, his family said he passed “after a long, extremely brave but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD.” Jones and his family announced his diagnosis in 2016 and openly shared his experience to increase FTD awareness.
The famed actor and screenwriter directed three of Monty Python’s feature films. He later wrote a series of children’s books and produced many historical documentaries for British television.
Jones received a Lifetime Achievement award at the BAFTA Cymru awards ceremony in 2016, a month after he announced his diagnosis, for his contributions to television and film.
Media coverage of Jones’ passing has drawn increased attention to FTD, with reporting by major news outlets including the New York Times, BBC News, and Business Insider. The BBC also spoke with Monty Python member Michael Palin, who in remembering Jones, describes the cruel irony of losing him to dementia.
On January 26, the Telegraph reported that Jones donated his brain to the Institute of Neurology, part of University College London, to help advance FTD research. To learn more about brain donation, visit the AFTD website.
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