Did you know that music produces a remarkable amount of cerebral activity - increasing blood flow and inspiring various parts of the brain? It also causes chemical and physical reactions to take place in our bodies.
Experts say music can "awaken" Alzheimer's and Dementia patients. Music seems to affect memory therefore music therapy can be used to improve the lives of those whose memories are fading.
Music has emotional content, and so hearing it can trigger emotional memories — "some of the more powerful memories that we have.
Dementia primarily destroys the parts of the brain responsible for episodic memory — the type that corresponds to specific events in our lives — but leaves those associated with procedural memory largely intact (the skills we have, i.e. riding the bike); because we don't shed this memory as we grow old, we retain our appreciation for music.
According to researchers Alzheimer's patients had a much easier time recalling song lyrics after the words had been sung to them than they could after the words had been spoken. Repetition of the lyrics is also crucial.
I have came across an emotional video about Henry, an elderly man with dementia, who is transformed by the power of music. At the start, collapsed in a chair and unable to recognize his own daughter, Henry seems to be unbelievably brought out of his lethargy by a few minutes of music from his early life. He talks about his favourite jazz singer, sings a few verses and gets very excited about how music makes him feel. (source: http://youtu.be/NKDXuCE7LeQ)
Before watching the video make sure you have a box of tissues ready! It is really touching!
I’d love for you to test what is your favourite music? What makes you work better or relax while driving?
Please leave the comments below so we can see what works best for you and hopefully help us all find something else to improve our lives!