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2021 Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders (GBHI)

Emergence of visual artistic creativity in Frontotemporal eementia

Adit Friedberg, M.D.
University of California
San Francisco, CA - United States



Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (areas behind your forehead) or temporal lobes (regions behind your ears). Past studies show that some individuals with FTD may show novel visual artistic skills. In this project, Dr. Adit Friedberg will study the brain cell mechanisms that may underlie the visual artistic creativity in certain individuals with FTD. Using sophisticated brain scan techniques to study large scale nerve cell networks in the brain, Dr. Friedberg will explore what brain changes may be associated with visual artistic skills exhibited by some individuals with FTD versus those who do not develop the skills. In addition, the results will be compared with cognitively unimpaired individuals. The study results could provide insights regarding the functionality of brain cell networks and their relationship to complex behaviors associated with dementia. Dr. Friedberg believes that the association of brain diseases to the emergence of artistic talent may help reduce stigma associated with dementia.

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