New Zealand study discovers that music is a powerful cure for dementia

A recent pilot study by the University of Otago, New Zealand, has discovered the positive effects of music on dementia patients.

Patients with dementia are riddled with stereotypes, whether it’s being called immobile, emotionless or braindead. This study, however, has proved yet again the power of music in improving one’s quality of life.

Researchers have found that music is a potent cure when treating dementia, sparking spontaneity and hidden memory. The results are remarkable.

Ting Choo, the lead author of the dementia study, applauded the results stating: “They responded to the music greatly and showed enthusiasm in moving to the music regardless of their physical limitation. Positive responses such as memory recalling, spontaneous dancing and joking with each other were observed in every session.”

Researchers from the Department of Dance and Department of Psychological Medicine incorporated a group of 22 participants in the study. The participants were instructed to create an original dance from easy dance moves and familiar music.

Over 10 weeks, the program aimed to “promote a better quality of life for people with dementia by providing memory stimulation, mood moderation and social interaction.”

Which is exactly what Ting Choo discovered as the participants began to dance and interact with each other freely and positively.

“The music stimulates their responses much better than verbal instructions…There is scope for future exploration of creativity and dementia,” Ms Choo said.

A less formal study in New Zealand also occurred several years ago by Music Moves Me Trust which discovered similar results. Towards the end of a dementia patients life, reminiscent music might be the only thing that keeps the person going as it has been found to provoke a sense of self in a sadly memoryless soul.

Another reason to add to the never-ending list of why music is so beneficial.

More information on the study can be found here.