There is a growing body of evidence that music can arouse distant memories in persons living with Alzheimer's disease. Music is also soothing.
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Alzheimer's patients do react positively to music.
While watching TREME on HBO, out of the clear blue sky Dotty starting singing the words to a song that was written in 1932 -- Not a Ghost of A Chance -- An Alzheimer's Disease Out of the Box Moment.
I read an article about the neuroscience of music. Some of you might find this of interest.
When listening to our favorite songs, our body betrays all the symptoms of emotional arousal. The pupils in our eyes dilate, our pulse and blood pressure rise, the electrical conductance of our skin is lowered, and the cerebellum, a brain region associated with bodily movement, becomes strangely active. Blood is even re-directed to the muscles in our legs. (Some speculate that this is why we begin tapping our feet.) In other words, sound stirs us at our biological roots.
Because the scientists were combining methodologies (PET and fMRI) they were able to obtain an impressively precise portrait of music in the brain. The first thing they discovered (using ligand-based PET) is that music triggers the release of dopamine in both the dorsal and ventral striatum. This isn’t particularly surprising: these regions have long been associated with the response to pleasurable stimuli.If you would like to read an interesting article about this research go here --
We have other articles on music. Here are a few samples:
The Importance of Nonverbal Communication in Dementia Care
Original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room