Ever get chills listening to a particularly moving piece of music? You can thank the salience network of the brain for that emotional joint. Surprisingly, this region also remains an island of remembrance that is spared from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at the University of Utah Health are looking to this region of the brain to develop music-based treatments to help alleviate anxiety in patients with dementia. Their research will appear in the April online issue of The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“People with dementia are confronted by a world that is unfamiliar to them, which causes disorientation and anxiety” said Jeff Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Radiology at U of U Health and contributing author on the study.“We believe music will tap into the salience network of the brain that is still relatively functioning.”
Previous work demonstrated the effect of a personalized music program on mood for dementia patients. This study set out to examine a mechanism that activates the attentional network in the salience region of the brain. The results offer a new way to approach anxiety, depression and agitation in patients with dementia. Activation of neighboring regions of the brain may also offer opportunities to delay the continued decline caused by the disease.
For three weeks, the researchers helped participants select meaningful songs and trained the patient and caregiver on how to use a portable media player loaded with the self-selected collection of music.
“When you put headphones on dementia patients and play familiar music, they come alive,” said Jace King, a graduate student in the Brain Network Lab and first author on the paper. “Music is like an anchor, grounding the patient back in reality.”
Using a functional MRI, the researchers scanned the patients to image the regions of the brain that lit up when they listened to 20-second clips of music versus silence. The researchers played eight clips of music from the patient’s music collection, eight clips of the same music played in reverse and eight blocks of silence. The researchers compared the images from each scan.
The researchers found that music activates the brain, causing whole regions to communicate. By listening to the personal soundtrack, the visual network, the salience network, the executive network and the cerebellar and corticocerebellar network pairs all showed significantly higher functional connectivity.
“This is objective evidence from brain imaging that shows personally meaningful music is an alternative route for communicating with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease,” said Norman Foster, M.D., Director of the Center for Alzheimer’s Care at U of U Health and senior author on the paper.“Language and visual memory pathways are damaged early as the disease progresses, but personalized music programs can activate the brain, especially for patients who are losing contact with their environment.”
However, these results are by no means conclusive. The researchers note the small sample size (17 participants) for this study. In addition, the study only included a single imaging session for each patient. It is remains unclear whether the effects identified in this study persist beyond a brief period of stimulation or whether other areas of memory or mood are enhanced by changes in neural activation and connectivity for the long term.
“In our society, the diagnoses of dementia are snowballing and are taxing resources to the max,” Anderson said. “No one says playing music will be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but it might make the symptoms more manageable, decrease the cost of care and improve a patient’s quality of life.”
The Latest on: Dementia and music
via Google News
The Latest on: Dementia and music
- Panola CNA students learn music therapy on February 12, 2019 at 11:58 pm
Panola College Certified Nurse Aide students are learning about the power of music to awaken memories in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Anne Robbins, Texas director of student program... […]
- Finding help, support after dementia diagnosis on February 10, 2019 at 9:27 pm
This group runs at the same time as Brain Fitness, which gives individuals living with dementia an occasion to participate in activities like music, movement, art and interactive games — all aimed at ... […]
- Several Shops at Stonefield Now Offer Dementia Friendly Dining on February 10, 2019 at 4:49 pm
Burtons Grill and Travinia Italian Kitchen started offering dementia friendly dining ... as well as trouble thinking with loud ambient music. […]
- My Vinyl Countdown: Kaleidoscope’s psychedelic banjo, bootleg Beatles and another hugging on February 10, 2019 at 4:48 pm
The battle against Lewy body dementia continues as I count down my 678 albums with ... On to the NP: If you like psychedelic banjo music you’ll love this. Actually, I do. But it’s not for everybody. I ... […]
- Know the warning signs of dementia, says director of Munster memory care residence on February 10, 2019 at 2:00 pm
In 2017, Lowell resident Tracy Prasco established Song of Deliverance, a local outreach program that connects middle- and high-school students with dementia patients through the power of music. Each y... […]
- My five-year-old son has dementia – he’s losing his sight and has already forgotten how to say ‘Mama’ on February 10, 2019 at 3:53 am
She told Birmingham Live: "People always associate dementia with the elderly ... She continued: "He's still a Peppa Pig fan and when he hears the music he gets excited and knows it's on. "He'll happil... […]
- Robbie the Robot becomes soap fan after watching Emmerdale to learn about dementia on February 8, 2019 at 7:57 am
"Currently the only ways to monitor and manage dementia is by direct observation ... "It might be through playing music or showing a video, talking to them. The potential use of robots is huge ... […]
- Research robot becomes fan of UK soap opera after watching to learn about dementia on February 8, 2019 at 7:18 am
"Currently the only ways to monitor and manage dementia is by direct observation which is labour ... "It might be through playing music or showing a video, talking to them. The potential use of robots ... […]
- We're still here: Art exhibit shows creativity flourishes in those living with dementia on February 7, 2019 at 12:40 pm
When dementia and all its various forms are discussed ... Today he paints all the time in the basement of the home he shares with his wife. He likes to turn the music up to full volume while he’s pain... […]
via Bing News