Translate this page

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Creativity and Dementia

Creativity and Dementia

            Meditation practices have various health benefits including the possibility of preserving cognition and preventing dementia. While the mechanisms remain investigational, studies show that meditation may affect multiple pathways that could play a role in brain aging and mental fitness. For example, meditation may reduce stress-induced cortisol secretion and this could have neuroprotective effects potentially via elevating levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Meditation may also potentially have beneficial effects on lipid profiles and lower oxidative stress, both of which could in turn reduce the risk for cerebrovascular disease and age-related neurodegeneration. Further, meditation may potentially strengthen neuronal circuits and enhance cognitive reserve capacity. These are the theoretical bases for how meditation might enhance longevity and optimal health. Evidence to support a neuroprotective effect comes from cognitive, electroencephalogram (EEG), and structural neuroimaging studies. In one cross-sectional study, meditation practitioners were found to have a lower age-related decline in thickness of specific cortical regions. However, the enthusiasm must be balanced by the inconsistency and preliminary nature of existing studies as well as the fact that meditation comprises a heterogeneous group of practices. Key future challenges include the isolation of a potential common element in the different meditation modalities, replication of existing findings in larger randomized trials, determining the correct “dose,” studying whether findings from expert practitioners are generalizable to a wider population, and better control of the confounding genetic, dietary and lifestyle influences. and the patients’ propensity to act themselves. Nonverbal therapy methods, such as painting, music, etc., are able to infl uence the well-being of the patients positively, within the modern healthcare system in nursing homes. The elderly and some of the dementia patients take the initiative to combine creativity and arts and to define his/her feeling for aesthetical matters. Furthermore, group therapy sessions help against isolation and lack of life perspective and hope

 Beat Ted Hannemann
Art & Age Consulting, Basel, Switzerland      Creativity with Dementia Patients
Can Creativity and Art Stimulate Dementia Patients Positively?

Gerontology 2006;52:59–65  DOI: 10.1159/000089827

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. An observation: the local community centres offer muscle strengthening classes but I don't think I've seen one meditation class for seniors.