Book launch of Art and culture as therapy: Icelandic museums and Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is a chronic neurodegenerative disease causing the majority of dementia cases. The most common symptoms include memory loss, problems with language and communication, disorientation, mood swings, loss of motivation, and behavioral issues.

Pleasurable experiences result in a lingering feeling of contentment and joy, equally for AD patients as other people. The positive effects of music on patients have been studied, as music seems to awaken joyous feelings, often connected to the patients’ previous experiences.

The handbook Art and culture as therapy: Icelandic museums and Alzheimer’s disease, introduces theories and methods of using art to increase the well-being of Alzheimer’s disease patients. Aimed at the numerous museums of Iceland, the handbook will prove useful for all cultural institutions and families in improving lives of AD patients, and help increase understanding of their needs.

Aurora Foundation supports the publication of the book. The book was launched on 20 September 2017, in accordance with the World Alzheimer’s day on 21 September.

In alignment with the publication, a seminar was held in Reykjavík’s City Hall and the National Gallery of Iceland, with the participation of contributing authors of the book. Among these are the AD and dementia specialists Dr. Jón Snædal from Landakot Hospital and Dr. Carmen Antúnez Almagro from Virgen de la Arrixaca Hospital, as well as Francesca Rosenberg from New York’s Museum of Modern Art and, Guðrún Nordal director of Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies.

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