Patients treated with dopamine-enhancing drugs are developing artistic talents, reports a TAU researcher
Parkinson’s experts across the world have been reporting a remarkable phenomenon — many patients treated with drugs to increase the activity of dopamine in the brain as a therapy for motor symptoms such as tremors and muscle rigidity are developing new creative talents, including painting, sculpting, writing, and more.
Prof. Rivka Inzelberg of Tel Aviv University‘s Sackler Faculty of Medicinefirst noticed the trend in her own Sheba Medical Center clinic when the usual holiday presents from patients — typically chocolates or similar gifts — took a surprising turn. “Instead, patients starting bringing us art they had made themselves,” she says.
Inspired by the discovery, Prof. Inzelberg sought out evidence of this rise in creativity in current medical literature. Bringing together case studies from around the world, she examined the details of each patient to uncover a common underlying factor — all were being treated with either synthetic precursors of dopamine or dopamine receptor agonists, which increase the amount of dopamine activity in the brain by stimulating receptors. Her report will be published in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.
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