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Eur J Neurol. 2012 Mar;19(3):468-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2011.03546.x. Epub 2011 Oct 10.

Artistic productivity and creative thinking in Parkinson's disease.

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Parkinson Institute, Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento, Milan, Italy.



Creative drive and enhanced artistic-like production may emerge in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) during dopaminergic therapy. However, it has not been described to date whether this artistic-like production results from dopaminergic drugs triggering innate skills or it could be considered as a repeated behavior possibly associated with impulse control disorders (ICDs).


We investigated creative drive in a cohort of cognitively preserved patients with PD by means of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). We also investigated a putative association between creative drive and ICDs in 36 PD patients with (PD-c) or without (PD-nc) increased artistic-like production and 36 healthy controls (HC). We considered artistic-like productivity to be enhanced if patients reported working on any form of art more than 2h per day after the introduction of dopaminergic treatment. The TTCT, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11A), the Minnesota Impulsive Disorders Interview (MIDI), and the Punding Rating Scale were applied.


Mean TTCT score of PD-c was found to be similar to HC (169.4±51.6 vs. 170.2±69.7, respectively), and both PD-c and HC had significantly higher TTCT scores than patients with PD-nc (125.4±46.1 P<0.05). TTCT did not correlate with any demographic or clinical data in both PD subgroups. No correlation was found between TTCT, BIS-11A, and MIDI.


Our study suggests that newly acquired artistic-like production in patients with PD is not associated with impulsivity or ICDs. Artistic-like production might represent the emerging of innate skills in a subset of predisposed patients with PD on dopaminergic therapy.

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