Research suggests that music is beneficial for Alzheimers because whilst Alzheimer’s affects the memory it leaves the musical memory part of the brain relatively unharmed. Classical music has been shown to improve scores on memory tests however, any music will benefit.
I know from the Care Homes that I go into that as soon as I play music they have a variety of emotions. Some songs will make them cry because it reminds them of a loved one and others make them sing and smile because it reminds them of their younger days.
It is predicted that by 2021 1m people will have Alzheimers!!
Whilst there still isn’t a long term cure, music is one of the key ways to relieve some of the struggles of a dementia patient. Music helps to unlock memories and helps to reach parts of the damaged brain in ways that other communication can’t.
Professor Paul Robertson, a concert violinist and academic who has made a study of music in dementia care says that “We know that the auditory system of the brain is the first to fully function at 16 weeks, which means that you are musically receptive long before anything else. So it’s a case of first in, last out when it comes to a dementia-type breakdown of memory.”
So, if you have a friend or relative that is suffering Alzheimers or you work in the care industry, play some music and see the difference it makes