Navigation Links
Parkinson's treatment can trigger creativity

Parkinson's experts across the world have been reporting a remarkable phenomenon many patients treated with drugs to increase the activity of dopamine in the brain as a therapy for motor symptoms such as tremors and muscle rigidity are developing new creative talents, including painting, sculpting, writing, and more.

Prof. Rivka Inzelberg of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine first noticed the trend in her own Sheba Medical Center clinic when the usual holiday presents from patients typically chocolates or similar gifts took a surprising turn. "Instead, patients starting bringing us art they had made themselves," she says.

Inspired by the discovery, Prof. Inzelberg sought out evidence of this rise in creativity in current medical literature. Bringing together case studies from around the world, she examined the details of each patient to uncover a common underlying factor all were being treated with either synthetic precursors of dopamine or dopamine receptor agonists, which increase the amount of dopamine activity in the brain by stimulating receptors. Her report will be published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.

Giving in to artistic impulse

Dopamine is involved in several neurological systems, explains Prof. Inzelberg. Its main purpose is to aid in the transmission of motor commands, which is why a lack of dopamine in Parkinson's patients is associated with tremors and a difficulty in coordinating their movements.

But it's also involved in the brain's "reward system" the satisfaction or happiness we experience from an accomplishment. This is the system which Prof. Inzelberg predicts is associated with increasing creativity. Dopamine and artistry have long been connected, she points out, citing the example of the Vincent Van Gogh, who suffered from psychosis. It's possible that his creativity was the result of this psychosis, thought to be caused by a spontaneous spiking of dopamine levels in the brain.

There are seemingly no limits to the types of artistic work for which patients develop talents, observes Prof. Inzelberg. Cases include an architect who began to draw and paint human figures after treatment, and a patient who, after treatment, became a prize-winning poet though he had never been involved in the arts before.

It's possible that these patients are expressing latent talents they never had the courage to demonstrate before, she suggests. Dopamine-inducing therapies are also connected to a loss of impulse control, and sometimes result in behaviors like excessive gambling or obsessional hobbies. An increase in artistic drive could be linked to this lowering of inhibitions, allowing patients to embrace their creativity. Some patients have even reported a connection between their artistic sensibilities and medication dose, noting that they feel they can create more freely when the dose is higher.

Therapeutic value

Prof. Inzelberg believes that such artistic expressions have promising therapeutic potential, both psychologically and physiologically. Her patients report being happier when they are busy with their art, and have noted that motor handicaps can lessen significantly. One such patient is usually wheelchair-bound or dependent on a walker, but creates intricate wooden sculptures that have been displayed in galleries. External stimuli can sometimes bypass motor issues and foster normal movement, she explains. Similar types of art therapy are already used for dementia and stroke patients to help mitigate the loss of verbal communication skills, for example.

The next step is to try to characterize those patients who become more creative through treatment through comparing them to patients who do not experience a growth in artistic output. "We want to screen patients under treatment for creativity and impulsivity to see if we can identify what is unique in those who do become more creative," says Prof. Inzelberg. She also believes that such research could provide valuable insights into creativity in healthy populations, too.

Contact: George Hunka
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Related medicine news :

1. Understanding brain tumor growth opens door for non-surgical treatment
2. Researchers use iPSCs to define optimal treatment for managing life-threatening arrhythmias
3. New treatment could combat deadly chemical agents
4. More Focused Radiation Treatment May Work Better Against Brain Tumors
5. Many U.S. Teens at Risk for Suicide Despite Treatment: Study
6. Regenerative medicine: Clinical trials launched for the treatment of delayed union fractures
7. Researchers reveal most effective treatment for common kidney disorder
8. Changing Poses LLC Brings Balance to Chiropractic Treatment Tables, Complimentary Lavender Spray Cleaner with All Wholesale Orders
9. Black and Hispanic patients less likely to complete substance abuse treatment, Penn study shows
10. Sublingual immunotherapy shows promise as treatment for peanut allergy
11. U.S. Medical Waste Market Analysis: Treatment, Containment, Management and Disposal Products Reviewed in New Research Report at
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Parkinson's treatment can trigger creativity
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy ... personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains what this means for business moving ... well with the Cozy Products business model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... of music, friendships, and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for ... , For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result ... from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... of philanthropic seniors, is resulting in a way for homeless people to have ... Schaumburg have launched a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Students and ... were awarded to winners of the Create Real Impact awards. California Casualty ... to help stem the tide of distracted and reckless driving, the number one killer ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 Research ... of the "Membranes Market - Global Forecast to ... Asia-Pacific , accounting for 37.21% of the ... Asia-Pacific region is projected to ... This growth has been attributed primarily to the fast ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 ... of the  "Global Drug Device Combination ... their offering.  --> ... the  "Global Drug Device Combination Products ... offering.  --> Research and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" or the "Company") ... and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and ... and the United States ... of shareholders held today, the Company,s shareholders voted in ... previously announced agreement and plan of merger (the "Merger ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: