Live Classical Music Provides Cognitive Benefits In Dementia8 months, 2 weeks ago
Posted on Sep 30, 2018, 11 p.m.
Dementia is one of the fastest growing diseases around the globe, upwards of 24 million people battle this condition. As the population continues to age with the oncoming silver tsunami the amount of people struggling with the disease is expected to grow to over 84 million by 2040.
Dementia is a most devastating disease that slowly strips away memories, abilities, and personality, altering far too many loved ones into strangers within a matter of a few years. In the future the sobering fact is that if you presently don’t know anyone with some form of dementia currently, sadly you will in the future, barring any medical breakthroughs. Currently there is no known cure for dementia, and its causes are not fully understood, making diagnosis of the diseases devastating for families and healthcare providers that have to watch as loved ones begin to fade right before their eyes.
Colorado State University researchers are hoping to provide hope to those affected by dementia in their groundbreaking study that has found taking dementia patients to attend the symphony can have positive effects on mood, relationships, and cognitive function.
During a 9 month period positive effects were observed between dementia patients and their caregivers. Neuropsychological testing was administered along with surveys, interviews, and focus groups to assess changes in mood, connectedness, and support before and after performances to measure changes in cognitive ability. Results showed the majority of patients in the B Sharp Program displayed real reversal in cognitive decline, improved alertness, better moods, great feelings of acceptance, and improvements in relationships between patients and caregivers.
Caregivers often feel isolated and lonely as well, the disease slowly erodes the relationship between patient and caregivers as shared experiences are erased from patient memory; sharing a new experience helped those in the program to draw closer to each other by creating opportunity to create new memories at a time when the horrible disease is robbing shared past memories. The B Sharp Program is also designed to provide caregivers an opportunity to reach out to each other in support, and provide a sense of normalcy while spending time with others in similar situations who can empathize.
In the future the researchers plan to pursue funding to examine the effects of the program on patient heart and breathing rates along with sleeping patterns and immunity.
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