If you have not done so already, go on YouTube and search for video clips featuring “music and a Alzheimer’s”. Immediately, a plethora of video clips will appear that demonstrate the unique impact that music has on an individual with Alzheimer’s disease. This past month, an exciting new research study was published in Science Magazine titled, “Alzheimer’s Spares Brain’s Music Regions” in which the researchers were able to discover the neurological basis for this musical mystery. What the study revealed, is that the region of the brain responsible for recognizing familiar music is not damaged as severely during the disease progression as regions that are responsible for other cognitive processes such as remembering names, dates, and loved ones. In fact, according to this research study, Alzheimer’s disease seems to “spare the brain’s music regions”.

 

The following paragraph highlights the results of the study, and refers to the above photo:

 

“A brain region that seems to be involved in recognizing familiar music (red, top left) showed relatively less gray matter thinning (top right) and higher metabolism (bottom left) than other parts of the brain, but still had substantial sticky amyloid-beta buildup (bottom right). Warmer colors are a sign of more advanced disease”.

Research such as this helps the profession of music therapy create a deeper understanding of the ways in which we can use music to help our clients reach their fullest potential and connect with those around them. Many of the music therapists here at BAMT work with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and we have seen the positive effect it has on their emotional well-being, their ability to connect to loved ones, and their overall quality of life.

If you are interested in pursuing music therapy services for you or a loved one, please contact us at: info@bayareamusictherapy.org

All content and images obtained from Science News