A group of Australian researchers has shown that the degeneration of mental faculties leads to a development of creativity, perhaps as a form of compensation
Alzheimer's, the 10 premonitory symptoms
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that destroys the brain, gradually leading to the loss of language, memory and other basic mental faculties. A cure has not yet been identified. There are only therapies capable of slowing down its course. The only slight consolation with respect to this terrible disease was identified by a group of researchers from Neuroscience Research Australia: Alzheimer's burns memory but increases creativity.
The results of this survey, published in the specialized journal Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, show that in some patients the areas of the brain used for creativity are more efficient. In some cases, Alzheimer's patients learn to paint, sing, write, activities that they have never done in their lives. Perhaps this is due to a compensation for the loss of memory and of high cerebral faculties or perhaps the cognitive decline has as a consequence a disinhibition of the brain areas linked to creativity.
Australian researchers came to these conclusions by questioning 185 people who assist dementia patients, finding in some of these people an increase in creativity. It is no coincidence that many assistance associations organize courses in painting, singing and visits to museums for Alzheimer's patients. The University of Kentucky will begin an experiment to see if painting, sculpture and collage improve the conditions of 12 patients suffering from mild dementia.
Some special cases were also used to guide the analysis. Like that of Maurice Ravel who is believed to have shown the first signs of the disease while composing one of his most famous works, Il Bolero. The Canadian painter Anne Theresa Adams tried to translate the emotions she felt when listening to Bolero when she started to show signs of aphasia in old age, one of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers in California, studying the painter's case, discovered how Anne Adams presented a greater influx of blood and more gray matter in areas of the brain that deal with creativity.