For anyone witnessing the degeneration of a person affected by the later stages of Alzheimer’s, it can be baffling but extremely heartening to witness their response to music and songs from their past.
This phenomenon has been well documented with singing and music therapy incorporated increasingly into care programs. But, until very recently, no scientific explanation or evidence has been available about how and why this should be.
In a recent study using MRI scans to show brain activity, neuroscientists have been able to locate the precise area of the brain where our musical memories are stored. In doing so they also realised that in a brain affected by Alzheimer’s, this ‘musical storeroom’ appeared more resilient to other degenerative effects of the disease.
Reading the article below, first published by Medical Xpress, two things spring to mind. One is the importance of remaining active music makers to build and maintain strong neurological pathways, and the second, based on concern about a particular mental store room where the shelves are cluttered with guilty pleasures from the 70s and 80s, is to expose ourselves to a wide variety of as much good music as possible, while our brains remain healthy. Read the article