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How can music help people who with Cognitive Decline?

How can music help people who with Cognitive Decline?

Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D.*

Research suggests that listening to or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Musical memories are often preserved in Alzheimer’s disease because key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the disease.

For example, music can:
Relieve stress
Reduce anxiety and depression
Reduce agitation
Music can also benefit caregivers by reducing anxiety and distress, lightening the mood, and providing a way to connect with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease — especially those who have difficulty communicating.

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  • Jonathan Graff Radford, M.D., studies normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders. Specific disorders of interest include mild cognitive impairment, vascular cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, corticobasal syndrome, posterior cortical atrophy and frontotemporal dementia.

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