MeDArT is a collaborative research project between
New Zealand’s Massey University and
France’s Institut Claude Pompidou and
Institut de Chimie de Nice, Université Côte d’Azur
Engaging science, drawing and technology to advance dementia research.
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of symptoms that change and damage the brain. Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. The most common symptoms include changes in memory, thinking, behaviour, personality and emotion. Dementia is progressive and cannot be prevented or cured. Because its frequency increases with age, the number of people it strikes grows as the population ages. According to the World Alzheimer’s Report 2015 the number of people with dementia worldwide will nearly double every 20 years. Therefore, it is even more relevant than ever before to bring together research expertise from France and New Zealand to develop methodologies that engage the human senses for early diagnosis, recall, stimulation, autonomy and art therapy for people with dementia.
1) Combining mindfulness with drawing workshops based on the hypothesis that fine motor capabilities are retained in the neurodegenerative pathologies of AD.
Working with these relatively preserved capacities, we can expect an improvement in the verbal and non-verbal communication level of the People with Dementia (PWD) by giving them an opportunity to express in another medium that isn’t oral.
2) Studying writing/drawing to help early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease,
in order to establish a health plan for the person in need and their relatives as soon as possible, early detection of the discriminating signs of the disease, is fundamental a priority for AD research today.
3) Evaluating the potential influence of odour to artistic production and how these findings can then be potentially applied to creative workshops to engage fine motor skills for people with dementia.
The central question is the possibility of enhancing cognitive performance with the use of non-pharmaceutical protocol.