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To describe the clinical, neuropsychological, and imaging features of five patients
with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) who acquired new artistic skills in the setting
Creativity in the setting of dementia has recently been reported. We describe five
patients who became visual artists in the setting of FTD.
Sixty-nine FTD patients were interviewed regarding visual abilities. Five became artists
in the early stages of FTD. Their history, artistic process, neuropsychology, and
anatomy are described.
On SPECT or pathology, four of the five patients had the temporal variant of FTD in
which anterior temporal lobes are involved but the dorsolateral frontal cortex is
spared. Visual skills were spared but language and social skills were devastated.
Loss of function in the anterior temporal lobes may lead to the "facilitation" of
artistic skills. Patients with the temporal lobe variant of FTD offer a window into