Music therapy helping Alzheimer's patient - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/24/09

Music therapy helping Alzheimer's patient

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A music program at a health clinic in New York City is helping Alzheimer's and dementia patients improve their memory.

These patients can no longer recognize loved ones, they don't even remember their own names, but it turns out they do remember how to do the twist when they hear that kind of music. "You'll see a multitude of memories resurface. The lyrics, the melodies, the emotional connections to the music, and sometimes movements," said David Ramsey, researcher.

The music for memories theory is being tested by Dr. David Ramsey at Beth Abraham Health Services in the Bronx. Connie Tomaino is co-founder of the institute of music and neurologic function and she says new research shows that music, memory and emotions meet at the frontal cortex of the brain.

Their studies show that music therapy three times a week for a year reduces aggressive behavior by 80-percent and improves short term memory by 50-percent.

This doesn't mean music offers a cure but for many with Alzheimer's who are losing a sense of reality, music therapy may at least offer a better quality of life.

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