A Pilot Case Study: The Effects of Art Therapy on Dementia Associated with Alzheimer's Disease

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Curry, Debra
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
The purpose of this pilot research study is to determine if art-making assists in decreasing the rate of degeneration in the brain associated with dementia of elderly patients in early to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The use of Cognitive, Perceptual or Kinesthetic Components from the ETC (Expressive Therapies Continuum) participants explored art materials, such as markers and play-dough, in a therapeutic manner (Hinz, 2009). To monitor any changes, the SLUMS (Saint Louis University Mental Status) exam was administered to the participants (Tariq, Tumosa, Chibnall, Perry III, & Morley, 2006). The exam measured the level of cognitive functioning of each subject. The results of this study were determined by the scores of the two SLUMS exams given to each subject. This study was conducted to assist in creating a program of art therapy directives to be instrumental in the reduction of degeneration in the brain while increasing memory function.