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Art Therapy Helps Dementia Patients Reclaim Identity Through Memory

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Tara Calligan
/
WGCU
Angel Duncan, Art Therapist and Director of Education at the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida.

When it comes to treating patients with Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia, should caregivers be doing more to treat the person and not just the disease?  We’ll talk with Art Therapist and Director of Education at the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida, Angel Duncan, about her recently published article in the Journal of Neurology and Neurological Disorders titled “Identity in Memory: Ascertaining Consciousness beyond Dementia.” Duncan uses various case studies to show that despite cellular brain death caused by dementia, a patient’s sense of identity and self-awareness can remain intact and how the arts and sciences can work together to better treat patients.

John Davis has been a full-time Reporter/Producer for WGCU since 2009. He is the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition and producer and host for WGCU’s radio talk program Gulf Coast Live! John came to WGCU as an intern in 2007, and is now reporting on a broad spectrum of topics of interest to Southwest Florida.  Prior to joining WGCU, he worked at WDUQ-FM in Pittsburgh, PA covering local government and general assignments.John studied journalism at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Florida Gulf Coast University. His work has garnered awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and a first place award and “Best in Show” from the Florida Associated Press for his investigative work in 2011.