The Power of Music for Alzheimer's Patients

While watching a music segment on HBO's TREME, Dotty (a woman who has Alzheimer's) started singing the words to a song that was written in 1932 - demonstrating the power of music for Alzheimer's patients

"When listening to our favorite songs, our body betrays all the symptoms of emotional arousal...sound stirs us at our biological roots... music triggers the release of dopamine in both the dorsal and ventral striatum. This isn’t particularly surprising: these regions have long been associated with the response to pleasurable stimuli."  Jonah Lehrer,

Original full article by author Bob DeMarco  can be found at Alzheimer's Reading Room

Below, Music & Memory's YouTube video explores this same phenomena of music for elderly patients in a nursing home, with input from Oliver Sacks.

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Anita Hamilton

50+ World editor & baby boomer writer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.

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