Senile dementia: music improves the well-being of patients

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Credit: Geriatrics & Gerontology International
Credit: Geriatrics & Gerontology International

In patients with senile dementia, music stimulates the brain, affects mood by reducing stress and increasing well-being.

Do you know the powers of music? It stimulates many areas of the brain, brings back memories and generates emotions, be it sadness, joy or nostalgia. A recent study published in Geriatrics Gerontology suggests that listening to music improves the mood of people with senile dementia.

Read also: Music softens Alzheimer's

To demonstrate this, researchers conducted their experiments on 31 patients in a US retirement home. They made them listen to their favorite songs for 20 minutes. In a quiet room, with closed doors, in a comfortable position, each with his own helmet was immersed in listening. A return to the 60's for someone, with Baby I Need Your Loving, Baby Love, My Girl, half an hour with Frank Sinatra for someone else. In any case, during the listening and the following 20 minutes, the subjects were more serene, reactive and smiling.

Read also: Alzheimer's: music to find memories

The researchers performed tests to assess mood and behavior 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after listening and found that music reduced the anxiety and depression that characterize senile dementia. The patients seemed more present, interacting with their surroundings.

Over the next three years, the Mason Music & Memory initiative will be set up to offer more than 100 institutions this promising musical approach.

By the editors of