Artwork before and after onset of progressive nonfluent aphasia

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: Compare changes in art quality before and after the onset of progressive nonfluent aphasia (PA). BACKGROUND: Some patients with left frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), particularly PA start painting and improve in art despite their disease. There is only 1 case reported of FTLD where the person was an artist before onset. METHODS: Digital images of 7 paintings were obtained. Three paintings were from 6 years before onset of PA, 1 was from year of onset, and 3 were from 5 years after. Seven college-educated raters without art backgrounds, 5 men and 2 women, used a 1 to 5 point scale to rate 4 qualities of the paintings: representation, esthetics, novelty, and closure. The subjects had not previously viewed these paintings. One art expert also rated the paintings on these 4 qualities. RESULTS: Quality ratings did not differ for 3 qualities, but novelty decreased over time. The art expert rated all qualities stable over time. CONCLUSIONS: Artistic ability in this previously trained artist with PA did not improve. Instead, the novelty of her work decreased. FTLD may not improve artistic skills in those who already possess them and there can be a decrease in one quality strongly related to creativity-novelty. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Finney GR; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 7
  • End Page

  • 10
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 1