THE MAGIC OF MUSIC: ALZHEIMER’S PATIENT INSTANTLY WAKES UP WHEN HE HEARS HIS FAVOURITE MUSIC

Listening to music can be a deep and profound experience. It can induce different moods and states of being. Science also tells us that music has several benefits, for example, lowering blood pressure, lowering heart rate and decreasing anxiety.

Listening to music also activates and engages multiple areas of your brain.

When you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body workout for the brain.

Both playing and listening to music has a vast amount of positive effects on the mind and body. There are numerous practical applications to change people’s lives, many of which are yet to be applied.

Just like meditation in schools can help children’s development, so can music. Playing music can aid in literacy and improves academic results, and more active participation increases the benefit.

Studies show that students who played instruments in class improved neural processing compared to students who attended the music appreciation class. [1] [2] [3]

Music and sound is in general one of the most primal forms of communication. Singing, chanting and drumming as artistic expression may have occurred as early as 60,000 years ago. Rhythm and frequency is deeply engraved in our brains and neuroscience finds that both drumming and making melodies correlates with the biology and structure of our brains. [3] [4]

When musicians play together their brainwaves are synchronised – they oscillate in tandem. This suggests that jamming can be a way of connecting with people on more levels than with just conversation. [8]

Studies have shown that practicing music can rewire the brain and increase the size of the brain’s hearing centre. Musicians are often more accomplished at filtering out noise from the environment and isolate speech – some are even more proficient at detecting emotional cues in conversations.

Playing and listening to music can improve communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, a feat that may improve general communication skills. [7]

Another amazing potential of sound is through music therapy. Music therapy has a wide spectrum of uses and several studies have shown great results in children and adults with autism. [9]

Music therapy can bring people back to the present moment and aid their memory. [5] [6]

Check out this heartwarming documentary film “Alive Inside” where the Alzheimer’s patient Henry literally wakes up when introduced to his favourite music.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s affect millions of elderly people, and in this documentary social worker Dan Cohen decides to try a music-based experiment to awaken memories and emotions.

Documented over a three year period, Cohen’s pursuit touches countless lives:

About the author:

Vegard Paulsen is one of the two founders of Global Harmony Crew. Global Harmony Crew helps people uncover their true selves and live a life full of meaning and happiness.

References:

[1] Kraus, Anderson (2015). Beat-Keeping Ability Relates to Reading Readiness. Hearing Journal

[2] Locker, Melissa (2014). Online article: http://time.com/3634995/study-kids-engaged-music-class-for-benefits-northwestern/

[3] Strait, Slater, O’Connell, Kraus (2015). Music training relates to the development of neural mechanisms of selective auditory attention. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

[4] Blog post (2007): http://scienceblogs.com/worldsfair/2007/02/22/the-science-of-drummers-like-s/

[5] H. B. Svansdottir and J. Snaedal (2006). Music therapy in moderate and severe dementia of Alzheimer’s type: a case–control study. International Psychogeriatrics, 18, pp 613-621. doi:10.1017/S1041610206003206. 

[6] Sambandham, Mary et al. (1995). Music as a nursing intervention for residents with Alzheimer’s Disease in long-term care. Geriatric Nursing , Volume 16 , Issue 2 , 79 – 83

[7] Burunat I, Brattico E, Puoliväli T, Ristaniemi T, Sams M, Toiviainen P (2015). Action in Perception: Prominent Visuo-Motor Functional Symmetry in Musicians during Music Listening. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0138238. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138238

[8] Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FwfV9pnj8o&t=915s

[9] Whipple, Jennifer (2004). Music in Intervention for Children and Adolescents with Autism: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of music therapy (Impact Factor: 0.8). 02/2004; 41(2):90-106. DOI: 10.1093/jmt/41.2.90

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.