Art rises above Alzheimer ;
VIDEO + ARTICLE
In dementia, art expresses often at a much higher level than other activities. People involved in artistic activities when they were healthy can cling to these skills in a way that seems to defy Alzheimer’s disease. See the remarkable case of a Canadian sculptor.
The ability to draw spontaneously and memory it can be preserved in the brains of artists long after the deleterious effects of vascular dementia have reduced their ability to complete simple and routine tasks, according to a new study by doctors at the Hospital of San Miguel.
The finding, scheduled to be released today at Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences examined the last years of the late Mary Hecht, a sculptor of international renown, who was able to pull spur-of-the moment and detailed drawings of faces and figures, including memory, despite an advanced case of vascular dementia.
“Art opens the mind,” said Dr. Luis Fornazzari, neurological consultant at the Memory Clinic St. Michael’s Hospital and lead author of the article. “Mary Hecht was a remarkable example of how artistic skills are preserved despite the degeneration of the brain and a loss in the functions of more mundane everyday memory.”
Hecht, who died in April 2013 at 81, had been diagnosed with vascular dementia and was in a wheelchair due to previous strokes. Despite his great knowledge of art and personal talent, he was unable to draw the correct time on a clock, to name a few animals or remember any of the words she was asked to recall.
But she quickly sketched an accurate portrayal of a research student Clinic memory. And she was able to draw a freehand sketch of a figure of Buddha lying and play from memory a few minutes later. To the delight of doctors in San Miguel, Hecht also drew a sketch of the famous cellist exact Mstislav Rostropovich after learning of his death that same day on the radio.
While I was drawing and medical staff showing their own creations, Hecht spoke eloquently and unhesitatingly about art.
“This is the most outstanding degree of conservation of artistic skills we have seen in our clinical example,” said Dr. Corinne Fischer, director of the Memory Clinic Hospital St. Michael and other the authors of the article. “In turn, most of the other studies that have been done in this area looked at other types of dementia, such as disease or frontal dementia Alzheimer temporary, although this is a case of cognitive reserve in a patient with vascular dementia quite advanced. ”
Dr. Fornazzari previously wrote an article detailing a musician who, despite declining health due to Alzheimer’s disease, could still play the piano and learn new music. In turn, in October 2011, Dr. Fischer and colleagues studied bilingual Alzheimer’s patients and found they had twice the cognitive reserve that monolingual counterparts.
Educators should take a page from these results and encourage schools to teach art – whether sculpture, painting or music – instead of cutting them, said Dr. Fornazzari. “Art should be taught to everyone. It’s better than many drugs, and is as important as mathematics or history.”
Both doctors want to conduct a larger study of artists with neurological diseases to further explore the importance of art and cognitive abilities of the brain.
About the Hospital of San Miguel
the Hospital of San Miguel provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health professionals in 27 academic disciplines. critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer treatment, the health care of homeless people and the world are some recognized areas of specialization Hospital. Through the Research Center Keenan and Li Ka-Shing International Centre for Health Education, which constitute the Ka Shing Knowledge Institute Li, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact throughout the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
This article was originally published on alzheimersweekly, Read the original article here