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A song to combat Alzheimer’s

Our friend Katherine Jenkins has shared a song by fellow-Welsh singer Jess, mourning her father’s memory loss: ‘I dread the day that you become/ a mere felction of the man you used to be….’

We reported last week on the latest research, showing that arts activity can arrest dementia. Let’s get together in every way we can to defeat this terrible scourge on friends and family.

_Bisakha & Ken hands_ 131

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  1. There is plenty of evidence in Music Therapy that music has a reparative effect on the brain, sometimes building new neural pathways in the matching part of the other hemisphere to the one that is damaged. Often you find people that struggle to construct a sentence but who can recall and perform the lyrics to songs from their childhood. Often memories that are attached to intense emotional events are more embedded in the brain, and music often has associations to important live events. Music seems to have an awakening power in the brain, bringing people back to life, even if only for a short time.

  2. Louise Norris says:

    Henry is correct. There is research supporting both the use of therapeutic music listening (as with iPods loaded with a listener’s preferred music) and Music Therapy. The latter is an assessment-driven, individualized treatment — and the literature tells of people with Alzheimer’s demonstrating *increased* cognitive abilities, increased socialization, and decreased agitation following Music Therapy sessions — with the effects sometimes lasting weeks after the sessions have ended. Music interventions of all kinds (from concerts to sing-alongs to Music Therapy) should be readily and regularly available to people with dementia and DAT.

  3. Brain stimulation and social interaction both play a big role in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Music therapy I would think, would fill both these needs quite nicely. Combine music therapy with proper supplements and diet and Alzheimer’s disease is virtually history!

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