New research from the University of Utah suggests that music-based treatments could help Alzheimer's patients, as certain songs might be effective in relieving anxiety in people with dementia.
A report from Science Daily began with the documentation, which inspired the researchers – earlier research had shown how personalized music could affect the mood of dementia patients. For the new study, the University of Utah team built on this earlier work and examined how the attention network in the brain region can be influenced by music. This involved participants in the study selecting specific songs that they considered "meaningful" and training both patients and their tutors in how to play the curated music selection on a portable media player
The participants were asked to listen to eight songs from the curated list of songs, eight clips of these backwards played songs and eight completely silent clips All snippets were 20 seconds each. The brain scans of patients as they were listening to the clips were compared to look for relevant signs of activity in specific areas of the brain.
Based on their analysis of brain scans, the researchers concluded that music could be of help to Alzheimer's patients, as it stimulates whole regions and encourages them to communicate. Various brain regions, including the salivary, visual, and executive networks as well as the cerebellar and cortico-cerebellum network pairs, all exhibited "significantly higher functional connectivity," as noted by Science Daily
. "This is objective evidence from brain imaging that shows that personally meaningful music is an alternative way of communicating with patients with Alzheimer's disease," said senior author Norman Foster, director of the University of Utah Center for Alzheimer's Care Health
visual memory pathways are damaged early in the course of the disease, but personalized music programs can activate the brain, especially for patients who lose touch with their environment.
The chills that one has to listen to a moving piece of music arise in the salience network of the brain, which surprisingly remains an island of memory that has been spared from the consequences of Alzheimer's disease and could be a possibility to humans to help with dementia. Https://t.co/LJxC4QvPGo pic.twitter.com/EZab8vyBfE
̵1; Massimo (@ Rainmaker1973) April 30, 2018
The study by U Of U is not the first of its kind, suggesting that music could help Alzheimer's patients, as well as people who suffer from other types of dementia. "According to the Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer's patients are usually able to use their musicals Remember, as certain parts of the brain associated with recalling music are not as severely affected by the disease as other parts, the Mayo Clinic also noted that music is also available to caregivers of Vo could alleviate fears and suffering, and help them to more effectively connect with the Alzheimer's patients they care for.
According to Science Daily There are some limitations to the new study, including the fact that only 17 people participated in the imaging sessions, which were limited to only one per patient. It is also unclear whether music could have long-term positive effects on the brain of an Alzheimer's patient or whether the stimulation was short-term. Against the background of these limitations, study co-author Jeff Anderson, professor of radiology at the University of Utah, recognized that the findings do not automatically suggest that music can cure Alzheimer's disease, but emphasized that there might be a chance to alleviate some symptoms as well to reduce the cost of care and quality of life for Alzheimer's patients.