Alzheimer’s May Improve Creative Skills

Art Therapy at Holmdel
Art Therapy at Holmdel

An interesting new study by researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) confirms what those who care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have long observed.

“Our study shows that individuals with dementia can display new creative behaviors and skills despite also experiencing the cognitive and functional decline that is typical of dementia,” says lead author Associate Professor Olivier Piguet.

In other words, the study confirms that individuals diagnosed with dementia can begin to exhibit previously unknown or improved artistic talents including drawing, painting, and musical abilities, as recently reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD).

The study authors hope that understanding of these findings can help both patients and caregivers foster and support increased abilities and positive behaviors and not just focus on disabilities experienced by the patient.

The published study can be found in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 54(2): Midorikawa A, Leyton CE, Foxe D, Landin-Romero R, Hodges JR, Piguet O (2016) All Is Not Lost: Positive Behaviors in Alzheimer’s Disease and Behavioral-Variant Frontotemporal Dementia with Disease Severity. J Alzheimers Dis, doi: 10.3233/JAD-160440.