A procession of dementia

The June issue of the neuroscience journal Brain has an amazing cover showing “increasingly bizarre and menacing caricatures by an artist with frontotemporal lobar degeneration during the course of his illness”.

The caption reads:

From left, the first picture drawn many years before his illness; the middle pair in the first 2 years of dementia; and that on the right at least 3 years into the illness. Background: Gouache entitled ‘Unravelling Boléro’, showing de novo transmodal creativity comprising auditory to visual transformation, by a patient with primary progressive aphasia…


Link to Brain cover (via @tiempoasm)


  1. Posted June 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Having a lack of denial to the point where you can illustrate your own deterioration makes for interesting art but I find it pretty grim. I’m also completely baffled by the use of pastels.

  2. Bill
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    what’s the possibility that dementia is a result of a persons awareness of their diminishing relevance?

  3. Lindsey
    Posted June 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    This is a painting from a woman by the name of Anne Adams. The drawings are so beautiful. There was a RadioLab episode on this woman, comparing her disease to Ravel, who actually had the same disease.

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