Art therapy is being studied at NYU Langone as a treatment option for the motor dysfunction symptoms that are common in Parkinson’s disease.
The new study is led by Milton C. Biagioni, MD, assistant professor for the Department of Neurology, and is a collaboration between neurologists at the Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders at NYU Langone and the Art Therapy Program at NYU Steinhardt. Participants who are enrolled take two art therapy sessions per week throughout the study, after which they participate in testing to see how the therapy impacted their visuospatial perception.
“We expect also that these eye movement functions might be improved because of the use they do during art creation,” Dr. Biagioni tells NY1’s Erin Billups. “It is a very intense program, it is twice a week, 90 minutes, and they get homework.”
The study consists of three sets of participants and cycles of art therapy sessions and testing, and is expected to be completed in 2019. Preliminary findings show early improvements, and feedback from participants has been positive.
“This whole program has been empowering. It takes it out of the sickness realm,” study participant Joan Karron tells NY1.
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