Music helps Alzheimer's patients reconnect with world: study

Updated 2018-05-03 10:43:19 Xinhua

Catchy music does, in fact, get stuck in your head. A new study suggests that playing familiar music to patients with Alzheimer's disease can stimulate parts of their brain and reconnect them with the world.

Researchers from the University of Utah Health studied the so-called "salience network," a region of the brain that is stimulated in response to a touching piece of music and is spared from the ravages of dementia.

They found that music activates the brain, causing whole regions to communicate, according to a press release published last week.

"People with dementia are confronted by a world that is unfamiliar to them, which causes disorientation and anxiety," said Jeff Anderson, associate professor in radiology and co-author of the study. "We believe music will tap into the salience network of the brain that is still relatively functioning."

To conduct the study, researchers played eight short clips of meaningful songs to 17 participants and scanned their brains using Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

"When you put headphones on dementia patients and play familiar music, they come alive," said Jace King, a graduate student in the Brain Network Lab and first author on the paper. "Music is like an anchor, grounding the patient back in reality."

The results offer a potential music-based treatment to help alleviate anxiety in patients with dementia, said the researchers.

However, they admitted that the results are not conclusive given the small sample size. In addition, it remains unclear if the effects identified in the study can persist beyond a brief period of stimulation.

"No one says playing music will be a cure for Alzheimer's disease, but it might make the symptoms more manageable, decrease the cost of care and improve a patient's quality of life," said Anderson.

The study will appear in the April online issue of The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58October 19 2018 21:37:59

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16October 19 2018 21:37:59

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18October 19 2018 21:37:59

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords