New research shows music may help repair the brain in Alzheimer's - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/14/09

New research shows music may help repair the brain in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients

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By Kristin Beerman | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – New research shows music can literally repair the brain, particularly in people like Rosemary Page, whose stroke damaged her language center, leaving her with what's called Expresive Aphasia. She could barely speak, but she learned to regain her speech by singing first.   

"So when there's a damaged area that's inhibiting speech, music can typically go around those damaged areas," said Jenny Rook, a music therapist.

"We use melody to help somebody remember the word that they know they know, but they can't form it," said Dr. Ted Rubenstein, a psychologist.  "Everytime we hear music, a new neuro pathway is being created."

So, an everyday phrase set to music, trains the brain to find a new way to talk, ultimately with no music at all.  Dr. Rubenstein says new research also shows music can improve motor skills in Parkinson's patients, and may spark memories in those with Alzheimer's, and even help kids with attention deficit disorder.

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