A Novel Cure – the Health and Well-being Outcomes of Creative Practices in Ageing


Project Details

Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factors (BDNF) appear to play an essential role in learning, memory and synaptic plasticity.  BDNF have been studied for the key role they play in neuronal development, differentiation and plasticity.  BDNF has also emerged as a key regulator required for the maintenance of a mature and functioning central nervous system (CNS).

A novel cure is a pilot study to examine if creative practices (such as reading and creative writing) improve psychosocial, neuro-cognitive outcomes and increase BDNF in people aged 55+. This will provide insight into developments in neuroplasticity and the links between learning, memory and well-being and, creative practices.   Establishing the outcomes of creative practices programs for the ageing individual’s health and well-being will enable further consideration of whether these programs may have benefits as preventative interventions in the health care setting.

As part of this study a reading and creative writing intervention will be delivered to participants aged 55+ in the community setting.


Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane, Culture and Communication (University of Melbourne)
Dr Neville Chiavaroli, Medical Education Unit (University of Melbourne)
Dr Beth Driscoll, Culture and Communication (University of Melbourne)
Dr Simon Murray, Anatomy and Neuroscience (University of Melbourne)
Professor Jane Gunn, Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)
Prof Anthony Hannan, Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health (University of Melbourne)
Prof Kevin Brophy, Culture and Communication (University of Melbourne)
Ms Danielle Fuller, University of Birmingham, UK

Research Group

Integrated Mental Health

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice

Unit / Centre

Integrated Mental Health

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