What Can Music Do For Those Suffering With Dementia?

power of music in dementia patients

Plato said music "gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything." Two and a half millennia later, a study by researchers at the University of Utah is suggesting that music-based treatments may indeed provide significant help in revitalizing patients plagued by mental illness, by lifting their mood and improving many important cognitive functions.

The so-called "salience network," the portion of our brains that is stimulated when we hear a touching piece of music, seems to be relatively unaffected by mental illness. For some anecdotal examples, look no further than British musician Clive Wearing, a man whose memory only spans 30 seconds but who can still play the piano proficiently, or the cases of many depressed and catatonic nursing home patients who appear completely revitalized after listening to music from their youth. Continue Reading