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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tap into Music with Meaning

Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers, read this from: Alzheimer's and Dementia Weekly
Bill Hemmer:

Whether it's the first dance at your wedding or the theme song of your high school years, music can trigger a flood of memories. Now, scientists mapping the brain say the two are linked in an area that is one of the least affected by neuroligcal disease.

So, is the next big breakthrough for Alzheimer's patients sitting on their iPods? Dr. Keith Siller is a neurologist at NYU Medical Center here in New York. Nice to see you, Doc, thanks for coming in.

Dr. Siller: Thank you.

Bill: I guess anyone who has driven in the car and flipped around the dial and found an 'oldies' station can relate to this. The idea of music sort of bringing in a flood of memories. Talk to us how doctors are now using this as they research different treatments and perhaps even a cure for Alzheimer's.

Dr. Siller: Well, I don't know if this is going to lead to a cure, but it is a concept that could be a novel therapy. The fact is, we have to understand that memory has many different components. We don't just learn by reading, we also learn by any sensory input that we get. Could be music, could be the smell of something. This is a very interesting study because it actually shows us what normal memory is like. The fact that we can tap into long-term memory, for example, is very exciting, through a stimulus that we normally didn't think about.

I think we can all relate to this. You smell a perfume or a song or something else that reminds you of something from the past. So it is a very clever technique which, if done properly, might actually help a patient with a memory disorder.
....read the whole article

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