Much like our last post, where we talked about how 3D video games help preserve and improve memory and fight dementia, listening to music also helps improve cognitive function in the brain and improve memory. Recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers have found the leisure music activities are a great way to aid in dementia care and rehabilitation.
The study took 89 different pairs of subjects (the mild-to-moderate dementia patient and the caregiver) and broke them into three groups—one who would receive musical coaching (singing lessons), one who would receive musical coaching for mindful listening, and one who received no change in their standard care (no additional inclusion of music/musical coaching).
After nine months, we bet you can guess what happened. For the groups that received musical coaching, improvements in memory, orientation, and mood exceeded the control group. Those with musical coaching had superior ability to focus, plan, and manage more than one task at the same time.
The greatest improvement in memory function came from those who had singing training. This was even more pronounced in those with mild dementia or those who were under 80 years old. For those with more advanced dementia or those older than 80, cognitive benefits were at their greatest with music coaching in listening to music.
Surprisingly, no musical background was required. It did not matter whether someone was a former musician or had no idea how to play an instrument.
When you start to think about it, memory is improved and preserved by stimulation—music, video games, exercise, and more. This is a wonderful thing. To help protect and preserve your cognitive function, live life. Do the things that you love. So much time and energy was spent trying to convince the world that rock and roll music was bad or too many video games made you violent. The truth is that stimulating your mind and having fun while doing it is tremendously good for your health!
The Pleasant Hills Apothecary Team