Alzheimer’s affects more that four million Americans. Chances are that you know someone personally who has, in some way, been impacted by this disease. While not a cure, art may be a powerful ally in the battle against the decline often seen with this condition.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston have been working with various Alzheimer’s care providers like Hearthstone to bring patients through the galleries.

The results have, thus far, been remarkable. Patients who are normally unresponsive will become expressive. The ability to focus is enhanced and moods are improved for hours or even days after the visit.

Noted neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks notes that the recognition of visual patterns and colors occurs on a very deep level. Visual arts (and music as well) engage parts of the brain that remain intact even after dementia has effected the procedural memory.

The more you learn about the amazing healing powers of the arts, the more vital it becomes to nurture creativity – within yourself, your loved ones and your communities.

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