Can Art improve symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Our clinical research team is now working to answer this intriguing question. The spontaneous production of artistic contents is arguably unique to our species. Art creation is regarded as one of the most culturally ubiquitous human behaviors. From a scientific viewpoint, the creative process of art making involves the use of sophisticated neurological functions such as abstraction, associative ideation, divergent thinking, visual imagery, visuospatial planning, sensory-motor integration, and eye-hand coordination. These functions could theoretically be engaged by art-based interventions in order to improve different clinical symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Indeed, according to the preliminary results from an ongoing study carried out by our research partners at the Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute at NYU, proctored art therapy seems to hold significant therapeutic potential to improve a broad range of symptoms in patients affected by Parkinson’s disease.
Following a dedicated art therapy program, beneficial changes were observed in patients’ visual skills, motor function, and psychological wellbeing. At the Fresco Parkinson Institute Italia, we now aim to further develop this fascinating line of clinical research bridging art and neuroscience.
To this end, we developed the “ARS-PD Study”, a research project exploring the effects of an art-based intervention specifically thought to address psychological and physical limitations experienced by patients affected by Parkinson’s Disease in their activities of daily living. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in different creative projects under the supervision of internationally renowned artists while our clinical research team will investigate the potential effects of this intervention on their symptoms by means of clinical, psychological, behavioral and kinematic assessments through a scientifically rigorous and reproducible methodology. The study is currently conducted by the research team of the Villa Margherita Fresco Parkinson Center in Arcugnano, Vicenza coordinated by Dr.Alberto Cucca, MD.