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 , ... SCOTTSDALE, AZ) - Today, ... specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion of his private ... Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and nationally recognized for his natural approach, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Livonia, MI (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... at Presence Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the ... the medical and surgical intensive care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders, ... as a result of the $20,000 raised at the center’s recent golf ... Club in Eureka, will help individuals who otherwise might not seek treatment for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... that it has undertaken significant expansion of its current state of the art ... part of PharmaTech’s strategy to increase its manufacturing capacity as well as to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bcureful—a ... (TSC), as well as raising public awareness of the disorder while helping to ... third donation of $35,000 to bolster progress at the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Center ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... BOULDER, Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron ... Annual Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public ... a webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray ... OfficerDate:  , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  DILON Diagnostics and GE ... an agreement for DILON to distribute GE,s Discovery NM750b ... globe. The signing of this distribution agreement will provide Dilon,s ... Breast Imaging system and is considered an initial step ... healthcare solutions for clinicians and their patients. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... . --> ... Latest Guidebook for Chinese Medical Device GMP Regulations ... November 2015 to the medical devices market data ... . China ... economies with a fifth population in the world, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: