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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

MUSIC AND QUALITY OF LIFE AMONG NURSING HOME RESIDENTS WITH DEMENTIA )PART 1)

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MARTIN GIZZI, MD, PHDCHAIRMAN, NJ NEUROSCIENCE INSTITUTE AT JFK MEDICAL CENTERPROFESSOR AND CHAIRMAN, DEPARTMENT OF NEUROSCIENCE, SETON HALL UNIVERSITYPRESIDENT, MUSIC FOR ALL SEASONS MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD

Dementia is an enormous public health issue, affecting 13-15 million Americans and at least halfof residents in long-term care facilities have dementia. Quality of life issues for this populationare varied but uniformly include the non-cognitive issues of apathy, depression, agitation, sleepdifficulties, loss of autonomy and social isolation. It has been said that “patients withAlzheimer’s disease do not die of the disease, they die with it from some other cause” (Boller andDuyckaerts, 1997).

Across the spectrum of dementing illnesses from vascular dementia to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, depression is both a manifestation of the dementingprocess (Cummings, 1992) and the consequence of social isolation. In the view of someinvestigators, depression itself may be responsible for the precipitous declines in clinical course(Absher and Cummings, 1993). The consequences of agitation and sleep difficulties may also be dramatic. The need for sedatingmedications during the daytime leads to poorer social interaction and exacerbates a reversal ofthe sleep-wake cycle. Demented patients, already inclined to increasing disorientation after nightfall, will be more alert and agitated following a day during which sedatives have been used.This, in turn, leads to a greater use of hypnotics at bedtime, contributing to the steady declineinto the vegetative stage of many dementias.The medical benefits of musicThe use of music in dementia has extended into multiple areas involving both the cognitive andnon-cognitive aspects of the condition.

Go tell et al (2002) have identified increased verbalcomprehension among demented patients exposed to singing. Gregory (2002) induced highermeasures of attentional ability in adults with cognitive impairments following weekly musicsessions. Clark et al (1998) saw reductions in 12 or 15 identified aggressive behaviors in a long-term care population with dementia during and following exposure to music. Music has alsobeen documented to reduce agitation among elderly (Remington, 2002) and demented(Ragneskog et al, 2001) residents of long-term care facilities.

Music For All Seasons (MFAS) is a not-for-profit organization that brings, live, interactivemusic performances to audiences in long-term care facilities, medical centers and other facilities.The organization operates on the principle that music serves a healing purpose as well asimproving cultural awareness and social connectedness.Brian Dallow is the co-founder and Executive Director of Music For All Seasons, which he andhis wife, Artistic Director Rena Fruchter, created in 1991.

Mr. Dallow studied at the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the London School of Economics, BrandeisUniversity, and Rutgers University. He holds degrees in performance, composition and theory,and musicology. In addition to Music For All Seasons,

Mr. Dallow is a composer and pianistand is the co-founder of two orchestras, the New York Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and thePhilharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey.The New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center is a comprehensive facilitydesigned exclusively for the diagnosis, treatment, and research of complex neurological andneurosurgical disorders in adults and children. Services offered at the Institute include programs in.......read all about MUSIC AND QUALITY OF LIFE AMONG NURSING HOME RESIDENTS WITH DEMENTIA and come back here for more great information

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