A recent study shows that dementia and Alzheimer’s patients can recall memories and emotions, and have enhanced mental performance after singing classic hits and show tunes from movies and musicals – a breakthrough in understanding how music affects those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Here are five reasons why researchers believe that music boosts brain activity:
- Music evokes emotions that bring memories.
- Musical aptitude and appreciation are two of the last remaining abilities in dementia patients.
- Music can bring emotional and physical closeness.
- Singing is engaging.
- Music can shift mood, manage stress and stimulate positive interactions.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has an entire web page dedicated to music therapy in Alzheimer’s patients. They say that,
“When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function and coordinate motor movements.”
This is because music requires little to no mental processing, so singing music does not require the cognitive function that is not present in most dementia patients.
“The message is: do not give up on these men and women. You want to be performing things that engage them, and singing is cheap, effortless and engaging.” ~ Dr. Jane Flinn, George Mason University
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