Using Music for Better Memory in Alzheimer’s Patients
The National Institute of Aging, along with researchers from Boston University School of Medicine conducted studies with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease to see if new information was better kept in their memory if it was set as lyrics to a musical tune.
The study, which included both healthy adults and AD patients, presented new information on a computer screen, and included lyrical presentations as well as spoken recordings. When tested after each presentation, the results showed that accuracy was better for AD patients when the information was sung, but showed no difference in preference for the healthy, older controls.
The results conclude that music helps the retrieval and encoding process of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease as compared to other elderly without AD. It appears as though the music recruits more parts of the brains in an Alzheimer’s patient than it does with others, and can be an effective way of presenting new information to those who suffer from this debilitating disease.