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Sun Mar 10, 2019, 12:04 PM

Study: Memories of music cannot be lost to Alzheimer's and dementia

Study: Memories of music cannot be lost to Alzheimer's and dementia

The part of your brain responsible for ASMR catalogs music, and appears to be a stronghold against Alzheimer's and dementia.

NED DYMOKE
29 April, 2018

Some music inspires you to move your feet, some inspires you to get out there and change the world. In any case, and to move hurriedly on to the point of this article, it's fair to say that music moves people in special ways.

If you're especially into a piece of music, your brain does something called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), which feels to you like a tingling in your brain or scalp. It's nature's own little "buzz", a natural reward, that is described by some as a "head orgasm". Some even think that it explains why people go to church, for example, "feeling the Lord move through you", but that's another article for another time.

Turns out that ASMR is pretty special. According to a recently published study in The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease (catchy name!), the part of your brain responsible for ASMR doesn't get lost to Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's tends to put people into layers of confusion, and the study confirms that music can sometimes actually lift people out of the Alzheimer's haze and bring them back to (at least a semblance of) normality... if only for a short while. ASMR is powerful stuff!

This phenomenon has been observed several times but rarely studied properly. One of the most famous examples of this is the story of Henry, who comes out of dementia while listening to songs from his youth:



Brief conclusion at the link.

https://bigthink.com/news/ever-get-the-tingles-from-listening-to-good-music-that-part-of-your-brain-will-never-get-lost-to-alzheimers

17 replies, 1247 views

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Reply Study: Memories of music cannot be lost to Alzheimer's and dementia (Original post)
littlemissmartypants Mar 2019 OP
mr_lebowski Mar 2019 #1
luvs2sing Mar 2019 #2
littlemissmartypants Mar 2019 #3
PeeJ52 Mar 2019 #4
True Blue American Mar 2019 #6
Duppers Mar 2019 #9
littlemissmartypants Mar 2019 #11
barbtries Mar 2019 #15
PeeJ52 Mar 2019 #16
barbtries Mar 2019 #17
True Blue American Mar 2019 #5
lunatica Mar 2019 #7
LakeArenal Mar 2019 #8
lunatica Mar 2019 #10
barbtries Mar 2019 #12
littlemissmartypants Mar 2019 #13
barbtries Mar 2019 #14

Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 12:11 PM

1. There's a movie about this (well, sortof) with the great JK Simmons ... very good flick imho ...

especially if you like the Grateful Dead

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 12:56 PM

2. I experienced this while singing Christmas carols..

with a church group to a man at a nursing home. His two adult daughters and a couple grandkids were there with him, and we were told he would not be responsive. They were wrong. A few songs in, I looked up from my music to see him staring intensely at me with tears pouring down his face. As we sang, he started singing along in a clear voice. By this time we were all in tears. When we finished, he shook every hand, looked every one of us in the eye and wished us a merry Christmas. For that short period of time, he was “there”, and it is one of the most profound experiences of my life.

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Response to luvs2sing (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 02:33 PM

3. Beautiful story, thanks so much for sharing it, luvs2sing. ❤

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 02:49 PM

4. My wife and I care for her mother in our home while we can and she plays fiddle, piano, and guitar..

 

by ear/memory. She has difficulty remembering what we said or did a day or week before, or even times with her husband who passed away a few years ago, but whenever I get out my guitar to engage and play with her, she remembers every note. Her fingers may not be able to play the finger or keyboard like they used to, but she knows where they go. It's something that makes her feel so good.

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 02:53 PM

6. Beautiful!

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 03:04 PM

9. My late mother would get upset at times

during her last years when she suffered with dementia. The one thing that calmed her was when I sang hymns to her on the phone.

The activity she enjoyed most during her 8mo stay in nursing care was joining in with others in singing hymns. She remembered the words.

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 03:09 PM

11. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing it, PeeJ52.❤

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 06:15 PM

15. Glen Campbell.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 07:19 PM

16. Didn't know that... I could only watch a few minutes before bawling...

 

Thanks!

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Response to PeeJ52 (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 07:20 PM

17. the documentary is really good.

and also very moving. I cried just watching that clip myself.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 02:52 PM

5. Mark Lowry

And his Mother.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 02:56 PM

7. I wish I had known this when my mother was alive

I would have played music all day long.

Evidently it makes the pistons in your brain fire up. A chemical reaction which used to be called magic or a miracle. Amazing.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 02:59 PM

8. My thought too. ❣️

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 03:05 PM

10. It seems to be a hint that the cure is already in the brain

I hope a lot of money is going into this research!

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 04:21 PM

12. i messaged the link to 2 people on fb

one is my sister, diagnosed last year with Alzheimers - the other my childhood friend, whose brother is afflicted and is deteriorating very quickly. Thank you.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 05:33 PM

13. You're welcome, barbtries.

My mom has recently been diagnosed. I'm hoping that she will sing with me during my next visit. Problem is she gets agitated easily. There’s always been an underlying anxiety problem which seems to be exacerbated. But I am hopeful.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 06:08 PM

14. way back in 1980

my mother had a catastrophic stroke on the left side of her head, leaving her aphasic. I read every book on stroke that i could find in the library (remember those days without the internet?!), which discussed which areas of the brain controlled speech, etc. I learned then that music is separate from speech. That year I confirmed it when my mother sang happy birthday to me.

My sister is not bad yet, not really much at all. My fear is she is submitting to the diagnosis. She's quite functional. But she is a foxbot. that's got a load of cognizant dissonance associated with it right off the bat. I hope by seeing this she will listen to music and possibly even take up dancing again - she used to do it on a regular basis.

They do go to jam sessions and her husband plays and they both sing, so that's a good thing.

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