The underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease is not yet known. Its symptoms are the result of a signal problem deep within the brain. Brain cells that produce a certain neurotransmitter being to die. This neurotransmitter, dopamine, is critical to the regulation of movement, which explains why Parkinson’s patients often have shaking hands, stiff limbs, and difficulty in executing motor tasks.
Today’s Parkinson’s drugs simulate the creation of dopamine to give back what has previously gone away. While dopamine is a contributor to the regulation of movement, it also plays a role in reward seeking behavior and in risk taking tendencies.Some of the medications currently being used not only reduce the physical symptoms, but also spike their creative drive.
These medications might be unlocking a new or hidden talent, but keep in mind that the effects aren’t universal. A budding artist won’t naturally appear just because a new medication regiment is prescribed. However, if a sudden interest in painting, writing, or design suddenly comes into play, why ignore a new talent that can bring rewards well into the future?
Parkinson’s is an incurable, degenerative disease that can make it extremely difficult to cope with. Sufferers are faced with the daily reality that their ability to perform daily routine activities is gradually wearing away, and treatments can only do so much to slow the decline.
But with many new studies have come different forms of therapies that can make a difference both in actions and in feelings. Art therapy has long been recognized as an effective way of helping patients express themselves. It also has the ability to improve motor functioning and help them release creativity they may have gained since the diagnosis was made. It can give control over something they feel they have no control over. Because you can control your art, even though you can’t control the disease.
As a caregiver, introducing art into your loved one’s life can allow the creativity to flow. Remember, there are no expectations. Art can be whatever a person chooses it to be. You can use just about anything to express what’s inside:
- Finger paints
It really doesn’t take much to let the expression begin. Start small and pursue more options if your loved one is open to the process. Choose a book on art therapy to expand your knowledge – there are many on the market today. You can even find an art therapist here in Denver that will provide direction and introduce new concepts into your lives.