Vol. 8 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2014
Original Article Páginas: 72 a 78

Performance of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration on artistic tasks: a pilot study

Authors Maria Cristina Anauate1,2; Valéria Santoro Bahia1; Ricardo Nitrini1,2; Marcia Radanovic1


keywords: art therapy, executive function, visual perception, frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

Several studies have addressed visuospatial and executive skills in artistic activities in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the performance of FTLD patients compared to controls on two artistic tasks.
METHODS: Four FTLD patients with mean age of 57 (8.7) years and schooling of 12.2 (4.5) years plus 10 controls with mean age of 62.9 (8.6) years and schooling of 12.3 (4.6) years, were assessed using the Lowenstein Occupational Therapy Cognitive Assessment (LOTCA) and by a three-stage artistic protocol including visual observation, copying and collage, based on a Sisley painting.
RESULTS: FTLD patients had lower scores than controls on Visuospatial Perception, Copy, Collage, Examiner's Observation, and Total, showing distinct patterns of performance according to FTLD sub-type: semantic PPA, nonfluent PPA and bvFTD.
CONCLUSION: FTLD patients presented impairment in the visuospatial and executive skills required to perform artistic tasks. We demonstrated that the application of the instrument as a complimentary method for assessing cognitive skills in this group of patients is possible. Further studies addressing larger and more homogeneous samples of FTLD patients as well as other dementias are warranted.


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