Mary Hecht, a renowned sculptor and painter, died in April, at the age of 81. She suffered from vascular dementia, a cousin of Alzheimer's disease, and by the time of her death, she was unable to remember the names of people she'd just met. She failed every cognitive and spatial test; she could not draw a simple cube. But one afternoon, when she heard that her old friend, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, had passed away, she drew a stunning picture of him from memory.
"We were amazed. We were almost emotional," said Dr. Luis Fornazzari, neurological consultant at the St. Michael's Hospital Memory Clinic and lead author of a new paper about the role of creativity in fending off dementia. "What's more, when drawing, Hecht would speak eloquently about art."
Read more of Jennifer Miller's article here.