Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

Improved instrumental activities of daily living in acquired savant syndrome patient after developing interest in drawing

Makiko Imoto, M.D.1), Kimitaka Katanazaka, M.D.1)2), Kyoko Kitaguchi, S.T.3), Masayuki Shirakawa, C.P.3) and Shiho Okuda, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, Hyogo Prefectural Rehabilitation Central Hospital
2)Division of Neurology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine
3)Department of Rehabilitation, Hyogo Prefectural Rehabilitation Central Hospital

We performed examinations of a 73-year-old, right-handed man who developed herpes simplex encephalitis, with cognitive dysfunction including severe Wernicke's aphasia. Although he had never previously been interested in arts, use of a coloring book, recommended by his wife, led him to start drawing. A few years after the onset of brain disease, the patient began to copy pictures of landscapes. The lesion was in the left hemisphere and his work showed a strongly realistic tendency, thus we think that this case demonstrated characteristics of acquired savant syndrome. Along with the increase in drawing ability, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), such as shopping and use of public transport, were also considerably improved in this patient. On the other hand, results of neuropsychological tests, such as the Standard Language Test of Aphasia, were not improved. We concluded that a sense of accomplishment from the drawing activity and communication with supporters might have led to improvement of IADL in this case.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (1150K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 60: 321|327, 2020)
key words: acquired savant syndrome, aphasia, cognitive dysfunction, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), drawing

(Received: 24-Jun-19)