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Agatha Christie 'had Alzheimer's in closing years'

Agatha Christie 'had Alzheimer's in closing years'
6th April 2009

New research has found that Agatha Christie displayed signs of Alzheimer's disease when writing her final few novels.

The writer, who is famous for writing the tales of both Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, has apparently left a lot of clues as to her worsening mental condition as she reached her 80s, with the new study finding that her language has notably declined in complexity.

Literary scholars at the University of Toronto discovered that Agatha's vocabulary has shrunk between 15 and 30 per cent over the course of her last 20 years.

It was discovered that between Destination Unknown, written when she was 63, and Elephants Can Remember from age 81, there was an 18 per cent increase in the number of phrases repeated during the course of the text.

Agatha Christie is also fondly remembered for The Mousetrap, which was originally intended to be a 20-minute radio play before hitting the West End.

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