Probable Alzheimer's disease in an artist

JAMA. 1987 Nov 20;258(19):2731-4.


Sequential behavioral and neuropsychological assessments of an artist with probable Alzheimer's disease were made over a 2 1/2-year period. His painting skills underwent dramatic deterioration and a concomitant decline in intellectual ability occurred. Psychological measures suggested that his visuoconstructive skills were relatively less vulnerable to disruption by Alzheimer's disease than were other cognitive functions and that the diminished artistic ability involved motivational, mnemonic, and organizational skills until the later stages of the disease. These observations may contribute to understanding the neurological basis of artistic creativity, as well as the more specific effects of Alzheimer's disease on neuropsychological abilities.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Art*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Paintings*