Study: music therapy affects people with dementia
Researcher and music therapist Alaine Reschke-Hernandez from the University of Kentucky, together with a group of neuroscientists, conducted an experiment on the effect of music on the brain. The challenge, in particular, was to find out how music might affect a person with dementia.
Allen’s team gathered a group of 19 healthy elderly people and 20 sick people. All study participants were asked to choose a few songs to listen to and then talk about the feelings. As a result, it turned out that after listening to songs that older people chose themselves at will, they all experienced both positive and negative emotions. Thus, the experiment showed that the brain of both healthy and sick people with memory loss is capable of responding to music.
Reschke-Hernandez drew particular attention to the fact that music evokes an emotional response even in cases where a person has serious memory problems.
At the same time, the researcher emphasized that in many healthy elderly people, the music of their youth evokes negative emotions. According to Reschke-Hernandez, this fact must be taken into account by everyone who uses music therapy.
Among other things, some scientists who took part in the study concluded that even Alzheimer’s disease can not always become an obstacle to memories associated with music. In this context, “song therapy” can be a good way to evoke the necessary pleasant memories in the brain so that the patient can receive a positive charge, despite the fact that he cannot determine exactly what a particular song is associated with.