Mary Hecht: A sculptor with dementia
Recently published case studies from the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences has shed some light on creative activities and their impact on patients with Alzheimer’s. However, the two women studied in the CJNS studies were both women artists who were living with types of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Mary Hecht, a sculptor who lived with vascular dementia before passing away in 2013, was one of the first people these experts studied. Like Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia slows blood flow to the brain and negatively affects the person’s cognitive function.
Interestingly, while the disease affected her ability to read the time on a clock or recall the names of animals, it did not affect her artistic skills. In fact, Hecht was able to sketch portraits of people from memory and reproduce pieces of work that she created herself years before.