Dr. Potts Interviewed for U.S. News and World Report Article

Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN was interviewed for an article on the use of poetry and other creative arts in the care and treatment of persons with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.  The article, released today, was written by Kristine Crane, a Patient Advice reporter at U.S. News.

The piece highlights the work of Mind’s Eye Poetry, an innovative organization founded by Molly Middleton Meyer.  Meyer’s inspiration comes from personal experience: she lost both her parents to Alzheimer’s disease.  A self-described “closet poet,” Meyer decided to get a Master of Fine Arts in poetry, and she now facilitates poetry workshops with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients nationwide.  During a workshop, each person contributes at least one line to a group poem – she’s facilitated more than 700 poems this way.

Dr. Potts was asked to comment about his father’s creativity which revealed itself after the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and which provided the spark to start his own creative fire.  Shortly before the elder Potts’ death, Dr. Potts started writing poetry as a way to combat the stress of his father’s illness.  He and his family published The Broken Jar in 2006, a volume of his father’s art paired with his own poems, and donated the book and all proceeds to Caring Days Adult Dementia Daycare Center in Tuscaloosa, AL, the facility where Mr. Potts learned to paint.  Cognitive Dynamics was founded to bring similar opportunities involving the arts to others with dementia and their caregivers.

As an arts advocate for the American Academy of Neurology, Potts also notes much clinical interest in the healing power of the arts. “People on the front lines are pulling the science and the art together because they are tapping more deeply than most of our therapies,” he says. “We’re going to have to tap deeply into the spiritual and emotional to make a difference in our care.”

The article may be accessed in full at the following link: