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How music can bring those with Alzheimer’s back to reality



Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/22/19

Songs that touch us the most play a vital role in grounding us and bring us back to ourselves.

Have you ever wondered why a particular song really gets to you and gives you that rush of emotion? Well, this is due to something called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response — or ASMR, as it is often referred to — an emotional reaction that leaves us in a kind of euphoric state. While this is a great sensation for anyone, the ASMR could actually have an important role to play in the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s.

According to the the Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease, the part of the brain responsible for the ASMR remains unaffected by Alzheimer’s. Therefore, when those with this cognitively debilitating disease find themselves lost or confused, listening to music that previously touched them can help lift them out of this state of bewilderment, if only temporarily.

As contributing author on the study, Dr Jeff Anderson, is quick to point out in Big Think: “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.”

So this seems like the perfect excuse to join the church choir or play more of our favorite tunes, as we never know what may lie ahead. But also, we should consider these findings if we’re caring for any loved ones with Alzheimer’s. Take note of their favorite tunes and see if playing them will help lift them out of their confused state or bring them back to themselves, for a while. If you need a reminder of how this has helped others, then take a look at this heartwarming video:


Read more:
How 600 nuns are helping to cure Alzheimer’s

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